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A formula to increase opportunities for new business

By The Apto Team on Oct 11, 2018

If you want more opportunities to win new business, you don't have to prospect more aggressively. You just have to prospect smarter.

It starts by ensuring you contact the right people at the right time. To do that, you need to have your information organized the right way. Then you have to have the right information on hand to make a quick connection.

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Broker insights: A passion project of a deal, and tips to get even the most challenging deals done

By Irena Ashcraft on Oct 9, 2018

mixed-use development-320x172We’re on to the third story series about brokers’ longest and shortest deals ever. So far, we’ve shared lessons learned from a two-year multifamily deal in Chicago and an assisted living deal that wrapped up with a mere four minutes to spare. Today, we’re sharing the story of a redevelopment deal that many developers had tried to win but failed—until one team finally made it happen.

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3 ways to use culture to attract and retain top broker talent

By Jesse Grossman on Oct 4, 2018

Company-Culture-320x213If you’re growing your broker team, finding and retaining the right talent can be tricky. In any trade where commissions are involved, salespeople have to walk a fine line between their obvious financial motivation to make a sale and the client’s best interest. And thanks to deal cycles that can span years, brokers especially have to make large investments in establishing rapport with everyone involved.

At the management level, it’s your job to empower the sales team to cultivate the relationships that drive revenue. An environment that attracts and retains top brokers comes down to an investment in company culture. If your employees are happy, motivated, and working towards a common goal, then you’ve unlocked the key to a productive workforce.

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Terrible at golf? Try these 5 unconventional networking ideas.

By Irena Ashcraft on Oct 2, 2018

biz-networking-320x213You may not have much of a golf swing, but you know that networking makes a big difference when it comes to building new business. Good news: you can leave the golf attire at home and hit “snooze” on that 4 a.m. alarm, because we’ve got five not-so-typical networking ideas for getting your name out there and establishing yourself as your area’s go-to commercial real estate broker.

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Broker insights: What’s your longest deal? (Part II)

By Irena Ashcraft on Sep 27, 2018

Sclock-834484-editedeveral brokers have shared stories with us of their longest (and shortest) deals ever. You may have read about a multifamily deal in Chicago that stretched for over two years. This week, we’re sharing the story of an assisted living deal with a dramatic ending!

Topics: Interviews
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Are you tuned into the right news for CRE? Check out these local sources.

By Erik Dolan-Del Vecchio on Sep 25, 2018

News-laptopWhether it’s prospecting or navigating market trends, top brokers know you need to be informed if you want to get ahead.

Major news sources like Bloomberg, The New York Times, and The Wall Street Journal can help keep you up to date on global and national business developments, but they don’t typically cover local news. And for most brokers, understanding local changes in your market is the most important thing of all.

To help brokers stay on top of the deals and trends in their market, we decided to put together a list showcasing some of the best places to find local CRE news in three top markets across the country. If you do business in New York City, San Francisco or Houston, check out these sites to keep tabs on the deals and trends shaping your market. (And many of these organizations have regional outlets in different cities, so search for your own if you’re not in one of these areas.)

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[Assessment] How do your time management skills stack up?

By The Apto Team on Sep 20, 2018

For many commercial real estate brokers, it often feels like there is not enough time in the day to get everything done. You're meeting with clients, touring properties, managing the details of any given deal, and so on.

But when you manage your time efficiently, you're able to take more control of your deals—and your income.

Take this quick assessment and get your time management report card today, then get resources to help you improve.

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Broker insights: What was your longest deal? (Part I)

By Irena Ashcraft on Sep 18, 2018

broker-buildings 320x213We asked brokers for stories about their shortest and longest deals ever. What did we learn? Well, sometimes you just get incredibly lucky and a dream deal falls into your lap and practically ties itself up with a bow. And other times, well…the stories speak for themselves.

Enjoy the first in this 3-part series and learn how brokers keep momentum and stay organized when deals carry on for years on end.

Topics: Interviews
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Broker insights: What was your shortest deal?

By Irena Ashcraft on Sep 13, 2018

building-skyline-sunset-660981-editedWhen we talk to brokers, it’s the deal stories that generate the most emotion, whether good or bad. While we’re in the business of making sure you have an easy, repeatable process to prospect and work through your deals, we know that sometimes you just get lucky.

Today, we’re looking at those rare but beautiful moments when everything just falls into place. Here are the stories of some of the shortest deals our brokers have encountered.

Topics: Interviews
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The latest and greatest data sources for CRE

By The Apto Team on Sep 11, 2018

52-CRE-Data-Sources-Cover-UpdatedIn terms of commercial real estate data sources, there are a few big names out there that most brokers use. They’re the largest—and the most expensive—but they’re not the only ones in the game. There are a number of smaller, niche companies that provide information on lease/sales transactions, ownership info, mortgage/financial data, property data, listings, and more.

All brokers need data, so it’s no surprise that the 52 Commercial Real Estate Data Sources ebook has been our most popular resource to date. And now we’ve updated it with the latest and greatest data sources for 2018 and beyond!

Here are some of the companies that have been added for the 2018 edition of our ebook.

Topics: CRE Tech
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New Apto National Broker Buzz Poll reveals: What commercial real estate brokers really think about WeWork, coworking trend

By The Apto Team on Sep 6, 2018

20180403-wework-houston-galleria-offices-4_320x180Commercial real estate brokers generally are not threatened by WeWork and the overall co-working trend, according to the latest Apto National Broker Buzz Poll, which was conducted the week of August 20.

The poll asked specifically: “How much of a threat is WeWork to the CRE brokerage business?” Here’s how brokers responded:

Topics: Industry News
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5 CRE marketing tactics to learn before the end of the year

By The Apto Team on Sep 4, 2018

rcm-marketing-320x189Marketing in commercial real estate has to be more than just sending out a few emails now and then and posting your listings on LoopNet. This strategy won’t set you apart from competitors, because your competitors are doing the same things—the monthly newsletter, the listings on LoopNet, the social media post now and then…the list goes on.

In an industry like CRE, you need to make sure you are where your clients are in order to increase your presence and opportunity to close deals.

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4 underrated sales skills every broker needs

By Irena Ashcraft on Aug 30, 2018

adult-businessman-call-374008-118000-editedTo be a great broker, you’ve got to be great at sales: it’s how you build relationships, turn them into deals, and keep your business growing. But sales—as you already know—is about more than just making your way down a call list or blasting out an email. In fact, some of the most powerful sales skills are often very subtle.

Here are four underrated sales skills you should cultivate:

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Why disintermediation isn’t happening in CRE

By Tanner McGraw on Aug 28, 2018

NAR-disintermediations-cre-160595-editedThis article first appeared in NAR REALTOR Magazine.

I started my career in commercial real estate in 2004. When I attended my first national sales meeting as a broker soon after, “disintermediation” was a popular topic of discussion. Many people seemed to be saying that at some point in the near future technology would obviate the need for brokers altogether.

Fast forward a few years, and I’m out of brokerage and on the tech side of commercial real estate. The first industry panel I sat on as a company founder raised the specter of disintermediation. And last year, it was covered yet again at several other conferences I attended.

The thing is, it’s just not going to happen.

Topics: CRE Tech
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[Infographic] One simple strategy to improve your long-term odds

By The Apto Team on Aug 21, 2018

How’s your long game?

I’m not talking about golf. I’m talking about following up and nurturing relationships over time, especially ones with previous clients.

Keeping in touch with these people is a no-brainer, but you’d be shocked at how many brokers lose track of this over time. That’s why you need a system in place to keep you organized and put your information to work for you. You own the relationship itself, but it doesn’t hurt to get an automated reminder to call once a month or once a quarter.

Get a demo of Apto

Take a look at this infographic to see how this one simple tactic can set you up for success in your market.

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Why you should stop managing your data

By Russ Duncan on Aug 21, 2018

Apto DealsWhen it comes to building software for commercial real estate brokers, you have to consider what you’re up against.

Commercial real estate is notoriously lagging when it comes to technology adoption. Excel, email, and maybe an old contact management system are still king. And they're king because they work (albeit in a 1998 kind of way). This makes the challenge of building something brokers want to use all the more difficult. If you’ve been successful in making money with these older systems, why change?

Don’t get me wrong—some brokers have changed. There are those who have adopted a more modern CRM as their primary technology platform. The problem, though, is that many CRMs are still limited to basic data organization and management. Those are important benefits, but they’re not actual activities that drive sales.

In other words, you don’t “organize and manage” your way to new deals; you win deals. And you win them through action, not management.

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4 reasons to share your data and turn your team into a real business

By Irena Ashcraft on Aug 16, 2018

broker-data-relationships-320x216-2What do you lose when you keep everything to yourself?

We know of brokers who are protective of their data as well as their relationships, and of some teams that are so competitive they’ll steal leads right out from under each other.

And in a way, we get that instinct to turn inward. It can feel like you’re laying all your cards on the table when you share hard-earned intel with people who may not understand what it took for you to get it in the first place—and who may run off with it the moment your back is turned.

But at the same time that some brokers are turning inward, others are turning that thinking right on its head. They’re discovering that when they open up and work together, they’re able to attract even more success for themselves, their team, and ultimately their business.

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Meet the new Apto

By The Apto Team on Aug 14, 2018

APTO_Deals Mock-up-2-webOne year ago this month, we released a product that was the culmination of hundreds of conversations and emails with brokers of all specialties across the country.

It was the first step toward our new product vision. We knew that we’d come a long way in helping introduce the concept of CRM (beyond paper and Excel, that is) to commercial real estate. But it was time to move past that. We had CRM for brokers down pat: in Apto, your data is organized the way you think. It was time to apply that data the way you work.

Since then, we’ve released a slew of new feature sets dedicated to optimizing the broker workflow. And with the new releases that have come out this year, we’re now able to introduce our complete new product. Whether calling a previous client, finding likely buyers on a map, or working through each task related to a deal, brokers can be much more efficient as they find, win, and execute business.

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Shopping for CRE tech? 3 questions to ask your vendor you haven’t thought of

By The Apto Team on Aug 9, 2018

59bec6362d43b_TechnologyOn the hunt for new technology to help you be a more efficient broker? Maybe you're looking for a CRM to organize your data, or maybe you want tools to optimize your workflows for prospecting, marketing, executing deals, etc. And you’re probably aware at this point that any software you choose should offer the basics: a cloud-based system, mobile access, and ease of use.

Those are the obvious must-haves. But there are probably a few things you haven’t thought of yet. To choose tech that will help you be successful in the long run, ask each vendor you’re evaluating these three questions.

Topics: CRE Tech
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First dance with Mary Jane: Here’s what brokers should know about the cannabis CRE market

By Erik Dolan-Del Vecchio on Aug 7, 2018

how-to-start-a-dispensary-219035-editedWeed, pot, grass, marijuana or cannabis — no matter what you call it, this plant is shaking up voting booths and real estate markets across the country.

It’s one of the fastest growing niches in the industry, but thanks to legal problems, funding difficulties, and general wide scale uncertainty, it’s no surprise brokers have been a little slow to embrace cannabis real estate.

But for brokers wanting to dance with Mary Jane, the time to be slow is over.

The global cannabis industry is expected to grow over 20% over the next four years. In North America it’s expected to grow even faster. That type of growth is creating opportunities for brokers comfortable with the uncertainty that comes with cannabis real estate.

But before you dive in, it’s important to know the niche’s risks and opportunities. So from understanding cannabis’ legality to recognizing how its unquenchable thirst for real estate could impact your market, here’s everything you need to know about the intersection of cannabis and CRE.

Topics: Industry News
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Hunting unicorns: How to find the next billion-dollar startup in your market

By Erik Dolan-Del Vecchio on Aug 2, 2018

Unicorn-Startups-List-2018-355310-editedEvery broker wants to catch a unicorn.

If you can find the next billion-dollar startup early, then you can ride that relationship as they grow. And then maybe retire early.

But like most things, the task of finding tomorrow’s unicorn is a lot easier if you know where to look. And if you don’t live in Silicon Valley or New York City, don’t despair — experts are predicting the next unicorns will come from smaller, burgeoning tech markets across the country.

So from making connections at top universities to attending the right events, follow these steps to put yourself in the best position possible to catch your market’s next unicorn early on so you can keep that relationship for the long term.

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Webinar: New leasing insights for better conversations (and more!)

By The Apto Team on Jul 31, 2018

APTO_Leasing Mock-up-2Finding and building relationships with tenants can take a lot of time, and with periods where you feel like you haven’t accomplished anything. Brokers from all generations know the importance of making a good impression on the first call and then keeping momentum through every subsequent interaction.

In talking to brokers, we’ve seen the many ways in which they piece together the contact, company, and lease information needed to make a good connection when they get on the phone. It usually involves 5-15 tabs on one computer screen and a good amount of prep time before the call.

If this sounds familiar, then you’re going to like what we say next: You don’t need to work this way anymore.

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15 places to find once-in-a-lifetime clients

By Irena Ashcraft on Jul 25, 2018

aspen-food-wine-classic-320-213Commercial real estate brokers spend a lot of time on small but dependable deals—do enough of those consistently well, and you’ve earned yourself a healthy living.

But every once in a while, a lucky broker lands a huge client: one that has an appetite for snapping up commercial properties, perhaps, or needs help moving those they’ve already got. Ask them about those clients, and they may simply say, “I was in the right place at the right time!"

Part of that is just luck, of course. You may be lucky enough to have a big client randomly sit next to you at your local sports bar. Or you can be the one who randomly sits next to them, wherever they happen to be.

For fun, we’re sharing the big-ticket annual events that draw the world’s most influential crowds—the philanthropists, tech investors, art collectors, celebrities, media moguls, entrepreneurs, and billionaires who have the power to make big business deals happen.

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What WeWork’s retail debut says about the state of retail

By Erik Dolan-Del Vecchio on Jul 23, 2018

WeMRKT_2The company that’s shaking up office markets just took a major step into retail.

WeWork recently launched a new business concept, dubbed WeMRKT, at the co-working giant’s 205 Hudson location in New York City. WeMRKT is a small shop that sells products created by WeWork members, and while there’s currently only one location, WeWork said it plans to expand the concept nationally.

WeWork’s decision to step into retail comes at a turning point in the market. From Toys R Us to Nine West, retailers across the country are filing for bankruptcy at record levels as consumer shopping habits continue to shift.

But not all retailers are struggling. Discount shops are booming while retailers who effectively employ creative, omnichannel strategies are finding success.

WeWork’s new concept is another step in retail’s evolution. From the fusing of the office and retail sectors to new opportunities for brick-and-mortar, here’s what WeWork’s foray into retail says about the current state of the market.

Topics: Industry News
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Trend alert: The beautiful impact of biophilic design

By Irena Ashcraft on Jul 18, 2018

Etsy-green-space-320x213As we move towards a future of driverless cars, shrinking parking lots, and smart, connected buildings, there’s another quiet trend taking root: biophilic city planning and building design.

Biophilic design is bringing nature back into urban areas, balancing all that concrete and steel with more living plants, water, sunlight, and natural materials. It’s a way planners and architects are making public and private spaces a little bit wilder, greener, and healthier for the people who use them. Today, the trend is getting a high-profile boost from major tech companies who’ve incorporated it into their office designs, from Microsoft’s treehouses to Apple’s orchards.

Topics: Industry News
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Preview: The 11 Psychological Secrets of Power Brokers

By The Apto Team on Jul 16, 2018

The 11 Psychological Secrets of Power Brokers - CoverWhen it comes to commercial real estate, people don’t just buy properties: they buy relationships. Are your sales and relationship-building chops as strong as they could be?

The secret to being a top broker lies in emotional intelligence: the ability to recognize your and others’ emotions, influence the energy in a room, and build meaningful relationships. The best brokers in the business aren’t practicing high-level Jedi mind tricks: they’re simply using psychology to their advantage.

So how can you do what they do? How can you use emotional intelligence insights to win more business, build great relationships, and bounce back from inevitable rejections?

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5 tips to create strong first impressions every time

By Erik Dolan-Del Vecchio on Jul 11, 2018

broker-shaking-hands-224097-edited-1In commercial real estate success often boils down to the strength of your relationships. Whether it’s finding a mentor or securing new clients, all relationships start with a first impression. That impression sets the tone for everything to come.

While that may sound daunting, the good news is we have the power to consistently create excellent first impressions.

So from simple things like smiling to working to create an aura of self-confidence, master these five habits to start making the best impressions possible.

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What brokers are buzzing about: CRE sale prices, recession timing, summer barbecue

By The Apto Team on Jul 9, 2018

man-coffee-cup-pen-large-320x213The results of the latest Apto National Broker Buzz Poll are in. Brokers are buzzing about:

  • Commercial property sale prices. Brokers believe prices have peaked for multifamily and retail properties, but not for office and industrial real estate.
  • Timing of the next economic recession. Brokers believe the next U.S. recession is not likely to arrive before 2020.
  • Interest rate hikes. Brokers say the Federal Reserve’s interest rate hikes are not yet slowing down commercial real estate sales activity.
  • Steak! Commercial real estate brokers grilled steak on the barbecue this past Fourth of July holiday weekend. See the actual survey results below to learn brokers’ next-favorite grilled meats of choice!

Thanks to those members of the commercial real estate broker community who participated in the poll, which was conducted during the last two weeks of June by Apto, the tech platform for commercial real estate brokers. Specific survey questions and answers follow below.

Topics: Industry News
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Feature spotlight: 3 ways to work and close more deals faster

By Russ Duncan on Jun 28, 2018

If you’re finding success as a commercial real estate broker, then chances are you’re winning and executing business based on a fairly repeatable process that demonstrates your unique value. That process is likely a series of things to do in order to create and keep momentum and assign responsibility to yourself or your team.

Apto’s latest feature set is designed to help you do everything related to a deal much more efficiently. It lets brokers track, manage, and execute deals from start to finish with a simple interface and intuitive workflow that drives everything forward.

How, you might ask? Well, we have three feature spotlights to show you our favorite tools and how they’ll help you close more deals faster.

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[Podcast] Eat what you kill: Commoditizing a specialty

By The Apto Team on Jun 27, 2018

In the latest episode of Common Area with Tanner McGraw, Tanner chats with Jonathan Peranich, Managing Partner at Peranich Huffman et Lease Group based in Houston, TX. Jonathan sources and facilitates net leased healthcare investment sales throughout the country and advises a clientele engaged in the development, acquisition, and disposition of net-leased medical assets for both private and institutional principals.

Jonathan and Tanner discuss the ups and downs of the CRE rollercoaster, building a successful team, quirky deals, and more.

Topics: Interviews
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7 traits of UNsuccessful brokers

By Erik Dolan-Del Vecchio on Jun 26, 2018

broker-thinking-window-320x189Let’s face it — becoming a successful broker isn’t easy.

It takes an entrepreneurial mindset and relentless persistence to succeed in the world of commercial real estate. Living on commissions while building your business from scratch is one of the toughest learning curves out there, and not everyone is up for the challenge.

But for those bitten by the CRE bug, it’s critical to understand that your habits and traits will either nourish or derail you on the path to success. And while it’s not fun to recognize our own shortcomings, top brokers know a bit of serious introspection only makes you stronger.

So from giving up easily to being afraid of technology, below are some of the key traits shared by unsuccessful brokers. If you recognize any of these traits in yourself, don’t panic; it doesn’t mean you need to change careers. All it means is now you know where you need to improve, and that’s the first step towards success.

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4 ways to increase trust during any conversation

By Irena Ashcraft on Jun 25, 2018

black-and-white-city-man-people-761171-editedIt takes a lot to earn somebody’s trust, and it’s not something you can simply do with the wave of a wand. The hardest thing about it is that it is, well, hard: it means you have to invest the time, keep your word, and care about the other person and those things that matter most to them.

Ultimately, creating trust requires you to, in the words of Ralph Waldo Emerson, “Be, and not seem.” That means that your actions have to come from a place of sincerity.

However, there are certain things you can do to build trust more quickly, and you can integrate them into almost any conversation. These are subtle psychological strategies that can help other people feel more at ease around you and more prepared to trust you.

You’ll still, of course, have to do the work of earning that trust. But these tips should make that journey a more productive and enjoyable one for both you and the other person!

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7 apps brokers can download right now to gain more hours in their day

By The Apto Team on Jun 21, 2018

man-suit-tie-phone-320x256Who doesn’t wish they had a few more hours in their day? Commercial real estate brokers in particular are always on the move and multitasking between a number of urgent tasks.

What better way to be more productive than to look to the technology we already use a hundred times a day—our cellphones! Here are seven apps brokers can download right now to gain more hours in their day.

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5 steps to find a CRE mentor

By Erik Dolan-Del Vecchio on Jun 20, 2018

brokers-suits-coffee-320x240In an industry as dependent on relationships and experience as commercial real estate, there’s no question that working with the right mentor is massively beneficial.

From connecting you to leaders in your market to helping you rethink and optimize business strategies, finding a mentor can mean the difference between success and failure. Here are five steps you can use today to start successfully connecting with the giants in your market.

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The busier you are, the more down time you need (here’s how to get it)

By Irena Ashcraft on Jun 19, 2018

broker-phone-outside-coffeeGreat brokers thrive on the energy that comes with getting things done, whether it’s meeting a new prospect or shaking on a new deal. But if you’re the type that keeps getting things done, we’re betting you’re also the type who keeps that to-do list topped up.

Don’t get us wrong—we love brokers who go out there and make things happen. But the more we tune in to the science, the more we’re beginning to understand how important it is for doers to spend a little time doing, well, nothing at all.

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How SRS National Lease Group got more efficient at everything

By The Apto Team on Jun 18, 2018

SRS National Net Lease Group in Newport Beach recently jumped on with Apto, and already it's resulted in more calls, more deals, and more efficiency overall. 

Watch the video or go ahead and start a conversation about how Apto can help your business

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[Infographic] How 5 top brokers structure their days for max productivity

By Irena Ashcraft on Jun 14, 2018

When you structure your day right, everything seems to flow more easily—from the hours to the deals. But get cluttered up with pointless emails, meetings, and other time sucks, and suddenly the day has gone by and you’ve got nothing to show for it.

Being in this business means figuring out how to structure your day for the most productivity—from how you schedule meetings to how you handle emails. Here's how 5 high-performing brokers do it.

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How to head into every conversation with more intel (without doing research)

By The Apto Team on Jun 13, 2018

Building relationships is the lifeblood of a broker. You need to know exactly who your prospects are, and more importantly, what to say to get them interested and listening to what you have to say.

To capture someone’s attention, you need to be interesting, relevant, and timely. Whether you’re following up with an old client or making a new connection, you need to offer them information of value to them, and convince them you’re an expert on your market.

We’ve grouped popular conversation starters into categories before, and now we’ve brought them into our product. Take a look now or read on for more info.

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4 strategies to overcome the summer slump

By Erik Dolan-Del Vecchio on Jun 12, 2018

summer-puppy-320x206The days are getting longer and the air is getting warmer, and we all know that can only mean one thing—summer is finally here. But as people across the country plan their vacations, CRE professionals are entering some of the slowest months of the year.

With the hot weather and slow days ahead, we know it can be tempting to leave the office early. And while it’s certainly important to enjoy the summer and take a much deserved break, top brokers know it’s essential to work just as hard this season as you have all year.

So from continuing to prospect to effectively communicating vacation plans, follow these tips to keep yourself on track for a successful year by having an enjoyable and productive summer.

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Coworking isn’t what it used to be: find out the surprising new ways major corporations are leveraging the trend

By Nell Gable on Jun 11, 2018

SGCoworkingWorkhouse-min-1-1320x180Coworking made its mark as a solution for startups in need of a flexible, affordable place to house their teams while they proved out their idea. Spaces like WeWork, Industrious and Knotel became popular not only for their flexibility, but for the stellar amenities they offered. CEOs could treat their teams like royalty—think high-end coffee, beer on tap, HR perks and free events—without ever signing a long-term lease.

Initially, the idea was that businesses would stay in their coworking space until they matured to the point of being ready to sign that traditional long-term lease and move into their own space. But the recent trend of major corporations moving entire teams into coworking spaces, or simply allowing their employees the choice of working in coworking spaces around the city instead of one central office, has turned that notion on its head.

Topics: Industry News
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How to become the most valuable broker in your city

By Irena Ashcraft on Jun 7, 2018

blurry_city-320x202Imagine being one of the top brokers in your city. What would that look like? What would it mean for your business, your reputation, and your income? And how could you get to that level?

Marketing and business mastermind Seth Godin offers a useful place to start. He says:

“Focus on creating a reputation and a work product that others believe is worth more. The mistake we make is in not telling stories that create more value, in not doing the hard work of building something unique and worth seeking out."

Seth’s advice is geared to businesses in general, but let’s apply it to commercial real estate specifically. Here’s what you can do:

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What it means for CRE tech to be created by and for brokers

By Jeremy Dillingham on Jun 6, 2018

Apto screenshot 6-6-18It all started with a broker and a spreadsheet.

Or in reality, probably many spreadsheets. Tanner McGraw founded Apto in 2012 after 10 years as a broker, many of those at Marcus & Millichap. The product evolved from his own frustration with the technology—or lack thereof—that he needed to do his job well.

Today, Apto has grown and evolved well beyond our bootstrapped beginnings. And one of our biggest areas of investment has been in our product development team. Tanner still lends his expertise as Chief Strategy Officer of Apto, but not everyone working on the product has a decade of experience working in commercial real estate.

Curious? Set up a time to take a look at the product.

To put the broker workflow at the center of what we build, the product team needs to talk to brokers. In person, on the phone, on the street, via email—the communication is constant and the channels varied. And it seems only fitting that we approach a relationship-driven industry by trying to build our own relationships with customers and non-customers alike.

When we say we were created by and for brokers, we’re not just referring to our founder’s origin story. Here’s how we make sure our tools are built for you.

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4 things every client looks for in a CRE broker

By Erik Dolan-Del Vecchio on Jun 5, 2018

broker-shaking-hands-224097-edited-1Commercial real estate investors, landlords, and tenants rely on brokers to take deals across the finish line. But few people are open to working with just anyone; instead, clients are understandably picky about who they’ll trust.

The first step to winning clients is understanding what they’re looking for. Once you know that you can boost your prospecting efforts by making yourself the ideal candidate for their business.

Fortunately, many investors have a similar set of criteria when it comes to choosing who they’re going to work with. From understanding the importance of referrals to fine tuning your communication skills, these are the first four things most people look for when choosing a CRE broker.

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The green roof initiative that’s causing controversy between developers and voters: Here’s what you need to know about the building trend

By Nell Gable on Jun 4, 2018

green-roof-save-money-320x240In November 2017, the city of Denver made history when voters moved to require new and existing buildings over 25,000 square feet to allot a portion of their roofs to vegetation, or green roofs.

Not everyone in the city was pleased with the new initiative, however. Many building owners feel the rule is too strict and will make building in the city too costly. The Green Roof Task Force Committee, comprised of various stakeholders, is now working to recommend changes to the new ordinance to city council.

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[Podcast] Hear from NYC broker Peter Von Der Ahe on creative selling and the value of teamwork

By The Apto Team on May 31, 2018

On episode 2 of Common Area with Tanner McGraw, Tanner sits down with Peter Von Der Ahe, the team lead for New York Multifamily at Marcus & Millichap. With nearly twenty years of investment brokerage experience, Peter has been included in the top 10 of Marcus & Millichap’s investment professionals nationally and the company’s prestigious Chairman’s Circle of Excellence on three and four occasions, respectively.

Tanner and Peter talk about navigating tough market transitions, the evolution of the broker’s role, how to build a great team, the value of difficult conversations with clients, and much more.

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3 tips to hire the right brokers for your team

By Erik Dolan-Del Vecchio on May 30, 2018

people-woman-coffee-meeting-large-348587-edited-1-1At some point, whatever size the team, most brokerages will need to hire new brokers. Even in a small shop, bringing on an associate or a partner is often needed to take the next step. But what can you do to find the most promising candidates and set them up for success?

Jon Silberman, Managing Partner at NAI Partners, recently spoke with Apto Founder and Chief Strategist Tanner McGraw and offered his thoughts on the matter.

Since it isn’t easy to point out successful future brokers in a crowd, Jon said you need to focus on finding people with drive and a strong work ethic. After pinpointing the most motivated candidates, it’s the company’s job to give their team the right technology to help them reach their full potential.

Here are Jon’s three tips for finding your next dealmaker:

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4 key takeaways from ICSC RECon 2018

By Erik Dolan-Del Vecchio on May 29, 2018

Las Vegas-2The retail industry is in the midst of massive change. From the rise of e-commerce to record bankruptcy rates, it’s clear that retail needs to evolve with the times.

Nobody knows that better than the experts who presented at the International Council of Shopping Center’s RECon 2018 convention, which ended just last week. The event is the world’s largest gathering of retail real estate professionals, and while the mood was largely optimistic, many people also voiced concerns about where the industry is heading.

During the convention experts discussed all things retail, and from fine tuning the tenant mix to using technology to create an omnichannel experience, here are four key takeaways from this year’s convention.

Topics: Industry News
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[Webinar] On May 30, learn more about the perfect deal workflow

By Russ Duncan on May 24, 2018

Deals ScreenshotHave you taken a look at Apto Deals yet? Our latest feature is meant to give you perfect clarity and workflow for every deal.

With a million details and moving pieces to manage, it’s shockingly easy to have something fall through the cracks. Many of the brokers we talk to have just such a story, and frankly, they get emotional about it (and who could blame them?).

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4 reasons an all-in-one platform is essential for today’s CRE broker

By The Apto Team on May 23, 2018

placeit (13)The job of a commercial real estate broker seems to become more complex every year. And there are certainly plenty of different technologies that have popped up to help with every task. That’s why it’s important to find an all-in-one platform that can help you close deals and maintain communication with clients.

Here are four reasons why an all-in-one platform is essential for today’s CRE broker.

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We spent a week with NAI Partners. Here’s what we learned about the secrets to their success.

By Josh Haas on May 22, 2018

Last month, we had the pleasure of visiting NAI Partners at their Houston office. It was great to get back to Apto’s roots, given that we started off in the Woodlands, Texas before making the move to Denver.

We brought a team of three Apto employees from Product & Engineering with the intention of learning how NAI Partners is using Apto and what we could improve. Little did we know we’d be walking away with insight into how one of the best-in-breed brokerages has become, and stayed, so successful.

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Broker insights: The bad advice that just won’t go away

By Irena Ashcraft on May 21, 2018

men-suits-gambling-320x213When you’ve been in the CRE industry for a while, you encounter certain myths and pieces of bad advice that just won’t go away. This week, we reached out to brokers to find out the one thing that keeps being passed around as truth—but simply isn’t so. Here’s what they had to say:

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[Video] Watch CRE leaders weigh in on the tech that’s changing the industry

By The Apto Team on May 17, 2018

Apto Founder and Chief Strategy Officer Tanner McGraw was recently at DisruptCRE Chicago to talk to brokers and other tech leaders about what they’re seeing in the industry.

It’s no secret that technology is reshaping the way CRE professionals work and opening the door to new opportunities. So Tanner moderated a panel on the different technology tools optimizing and advancing transactions throughout the lifecycle of buildings from all different asset classes.

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[Survey results] What brokers are buzzing about: The shutdown of Xceligent

By The Apto Team on May 16, 2018

Cloud_buildings-403353-edited-680277-editedThe results of the first Apto National Broker Buzz Poll are in, and the results are loud and clear. Brokers are buzzing about the shutdown of Xceligent, and they are concerned that CoStar — the dominant player in commercial property availability information — will raise prices as a result.

Highlights of the survey are below.  Thanks to those members of the commercial real estate brokerage community who participated in the poll.

Topics: Industry News
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5 LinkedIn groups every broker should join

By Erik Dolan-Del Vecchio on May 15, 2018

fre-sonneveld-28484-unsplashLinkedIn is an important social media platform for brokers. It’s a place to tout your professional accomplishments, stay in contact with your network, and form new relationships.

But beyond simply checking messages every few days, top brokers work to develop a presence on LinkedIn’s most important CRE groups. LinkedIn has tons of industry specific groups, and CRE is no exception. So whether it’s engaging with power players in your market or finding the perfect place to post listings, every broker should build a presence on these five groups.

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The 2018 summer reading list for brokers

By Nell Gable on May 14, 2018

booksWho has time to read books these days?

Well, the most successful leaders in technology, business, and media for starters.

Did you know Mark Cuban spends three hours a day reading? Or, that Bill Gates reads roughly 50 books per year?

Sure, they could be spending that time sailing around on yachts, taking meetings, attending events or however else it is billionaires spend their time, but instead, they carve out a chunk of every day for learning new things through books.

So, what’s stopping you?

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[Inside Apto] How we built Apto Maps

By Samuel Toriel (Engineering Manager) on May 10, 2018

Here in Apto’s engineering department, we’re completely focused on creating a product that helps brokers manage their workflows in more efficient ways.

When working with property data, for example, it’s valuable to be able to visualize the relationships of where properties are on a map. So we built Apto Maps.

Here, we’ll give you a peek behind the curtain so you can see how we created this tool and how it can help brokers be more efficient.

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3 things every brokerage should consider outsourcing

By Erik Dolan-Del Vecchio on May 9, 2018

woman-phone-computer-752605-editedWhether you call it outsourcing, vendor management, or strategic partnerships, commercial real estate brokers are increasingly working with third-party companies to maximize value.

Its not hard to see why.

Outsourcing the right tasks saves money and lets you spend more time on relationships and deals. It can also boost efficiencies by letting you hand off tasks you arent an expert in, such as technology and marketing, to specialists who can do the job for you.

So from getting rid of pesky administrative work to integrating the best technologies in the industry, consider outsourcing tasks in these three areas.

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The trick is, there are no tricks: Jon Silberman on the power of consistency and discipline

By The Apto Team on May 8, 2018

NAI Partners podcast-320x167For the first episode of his new podcast, Common Area, Apto Founder and Chief Strategist Tanner McGraw interviewed Jon Silberman of NAI Partners. Jon has more than 20 years of  experience in tenant representation and corporate services and an uncommon commitment to discipline and consistency, traits to which he contributes much of his success.

Despite his decades of experience, Jon sticks to the basics when it comes to maintaining his pipeline or riding out tough times. As Tanner and Jon discuss, to be successful in CRE, there are no tricks, there is only hard work, consistency, and discipline, all of which can be aided tremendously by an organized CRM system.

Here are some of the principals Jon maintains to this day:

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The tenant screening process: 4 things every CRE broker needs to know

By Eric Worral on May 7, 2018

office-building-clouds-320x185Managing commercial real estate can be a complicated puzzle that requires coordination from many parties. From acquiring land to planning redevelopment to finding the right clients, commercial real estate is a big business.

CRE brokers are responsible for advising new owners on the best way to rent out spaces to commercial tenants--a process that can be overwhelming. Choosing the right commercial tenants is very different than choosing residential tenants.

Let’s take a closer look at four important things that all CRE brokers should know about the tenant screening process.

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[Video] Take a look at Apto Deals

By The Apto Team on May 3, 2018

You’re in the commercial real estate business to close deals and make money. Do you have a process to manage it all so nothing falls between the cracks?

Apto Deals helps you track, manage, and execute your deals from start to finish with a simple interface and intuitive workflow that drives every deal forward. In one dashboard, you can see where every deal is at every stage, from prospect to negotiations to close.

Watch the video to learn more, or go ahead and get a full demo.

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Broker insights: How do you spend your time?

By Irena Ashcraft on May 2, 2018

male-broker-laptop (320x212)There are only 24 hours in a day, but somehow the best brokers make it work.

“In CRE our golden hours are the normal business hours,” says Bob McComb, creator of Top Dogs CRE Training. “Brokers have about 1,860 golden hours to achieve their financial goals."

This week, we reached out to brokers to ask how many hours they typically put into each working day, and how exactly they spend that time. Here’s what we learned:

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How understanding the science of empathy can help you be a better broker

By Nell Gable on May 1, 2018

broker-empathy.jpg-320x213It’s an interesting time to be alive. Technology takes up more space in our lives than ever before, and replaces face-to-face interactions and phone calls. And of course, it’s easier to be rude or dismissive when you don’t have to look someone in the eye.

Many of us could benefit from brushing up on our empathy skills. And according to recent research, practicing empathy can not only improve our relationships with family and friends, it can be a major asset at work as well.

Thanks to mounting findings on the specific business benefits of empathy, the Harvard Business Review has argued that, “Empathy should be embedded into the entire organization: There is nothing soft about it. It is a hard skill that should be required from the boardroom to the shop floor.”

And for brokers, whose success depends on how well you are able to read, relate, and ultimately persuade people, cultivating empathy can be particularly powerful.

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Broker insights: How do you start conversations with prospects?

By Irena Ashcraft on Apr 30, 2018

brokers-suits-coffee-320x240As a broker, you spend your life striking up conversations with potential clients—whether it’s on the phone with a prospect or in line at the coffee shop. And if you’re one of the good ones, you know exactly how to keep the conversation going from that first hello to that first deal.

There’s a lot at stake from the very first words you use, which is why we asked brokers what they like to do to spark a connection and keep things flowing. Here’s what they had to say:

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4 ways self-driving cars could revolutionize CRE

By Erik Dolan-Del Vecchio on Apr 26, 2018

driverlesscars-320x185It may take five years or fifty depending on who you ask, but there’s great potential for autonomous vehicles to radically disrupt and revolutionize the commercial real estate industry.

The relationship between property values and transportation is one of the most durable in human history. The first cities grew up along waterways, railways, and roads. Then Henry Ford’s Model T paved the way for the suburbs. Tomorrow, driverless cars could usher in a similarly monumental shift in how we use real estate.

Yet from Uber’s fatal driverless crash to an uncertain regulatory future, these changes are not set in stone. Autonomous vehicles still have a long way to go, and most experts predict widespread consumer adoption is at least a decade away.

Despite the setbacks, technological advances and growing levels of investment make the driverless future more and more likely. From opening periphery neighborhoods to revolutionizing retail, here are four ways autonomous vehicles could rewrite the laws of commercial real estate.

Topics: Disruption
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Introducing Apto Deals: Perfect clarity and workflow for every single deal

By The Apto Team on Apr 25, 2018

There are plenty of cringeworthy stories out there about brokers who lost a deal, maybe even because of that one little detail that slipped through the cracks. It's never fun to lose, and it's why brokers need better tools to manage it all. Yes, sometimes things just fall through, but there are definitely ways to get better at tracking, managing, and executing deals.

Apto Deals is our latest feature set designed to help brokers track, manage, and execute deals from start to finish with a simple interface and intuitive workflow that drives everything forward.

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[Calculator] What's your target income? Here's how much outreach it will take.

By The Apto Team on Apr 24, 2018

deal calculator-320x213Do you know how many deals it will take to hit your goal? What about how many calls or emails it will take to get those deals?

In commercial real estate, we know there are good years and bad years. But that doesn't mean you shouldn't know your business metrics like the back of your hand. Otherwise, how will you track and reach your goals? (In fact, we've written before about the most important key performance indicators that brokers should know but probably don't.)

Fortunately, you can use this calculator to get an idea of what it will take.

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4 ways automation is poised to change the CRE game in 2018 and beyond

By The Apto Team on Apr 23, 2018

phone-millennial-abstract-320x259Getting a deal done in commercial real estate is a long and often complex process. Fortunately, automation is starting to improve communication and reduce friction for managing various elements of the deal.

Let’s take a look at four ways automation is helping change the commercial real estate game in 2018 and beyond.

Topics: Efficiency
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Broker insights: What’s your top marketing strategy?

By Irena Ashcraft on Apr 19, 2018

offering-memorandum-design-2400Market-320x242What’s the best marketing idea you’ve tried this year?

We’re always on the lookout for fresh ways to help you expand your business, so this week we asked several successful brokers for their go-to marketing strategies. Here’s what they had to say:

Topics: Interviews
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New Podcast Series: “Common Area with Tanner McGraw”

By Tanner McGraw on Apr 18, 2018

common-area-podcast-logo-250x250When it comes to commercial real estate brokerage, I’ve been on both sides. I was a broker for 10 years and experienced a lot of the same frustrations with process and technology that brokers still feel today. That’s what led me to build my own tech, and eventually launch Apto.

I’ve also met a lot of fascinating people over my years as both broker and entrepreneur, and I would be remiss not to share those stories with the larger CRE community. That’s why I’ve started this podcast series, “Common Area,” so other folks in the industry can learn from these successful brokers.

Topics: Interviews
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5 negotiating habits of top brokers

By Erik Dolan-Del Vecchio on Apr 17, 2018

business-negotiations-320x213Whether you’re finding prospects or making the final handshake, the entire CRE deal lifecycle is built on a series of negotiations.But beyond the current deal, top brokers know the way you negotiate sets you up for success or failure in the future.

From doing your homework to building a strong reputation, use these five tips to master the art of the negotiation and win more deals.

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What's changed for Coy Davidson's CRE business, and how he's delivering more to clients

By The Apto Team on Apr 16, 2018

Coy Davidson is a Houston-based broker who has been in the commercial real estate business for 27 years—and he still enjoys it! These days he focuses on healthcare, as well as tenant representation for businesses.

He’s well aware that how companies found space 20 years ago is archaic compared to what they do today. Clients expect more because there’s someone out there providing more--and brokers have to keep up. He notes: "As I've seen technology start to make its way into the CRE industry, really the people that are succeeding are the people that are bringing new efficiencies.”

Learn more and see how Coy gets a competitive advantage by watching the video below.

Topics: Interviews
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From the skies to the stadiums: 5 fun CRE stories this month

By Irena Ashcraft on Apr 12, 2018

cre-stories-710795-editedThis month, we’ve been following CRE developments across the nation, from a new kind of sports arena in Texas to a sky-high traffic solution in Boston. Here are the stories that made us stop and think this month:

Topics: Industry News
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Product review: How Apto Maps helps CRE brokers visualize their market

By The Apto Team on Apr 11, 2018

Apto MapsThis product review by Franco Faraudo appeared in Propmodo. Read an excerpt below. 

Apto Maps helps commercial real estate brokers prospect and win deals by providing visual, interactive tools to analyze a market. It’s a new feature in the Apto suite of cloud-based CRM tools built on the Salesforce.com platform.

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CRE paradigm shift—warehouses are now more valuable than offices. Here are 3 things to know.

By Erik Dolan-Del Vecchio on Apr 10, 2018

warehouse-320x217Big-box warehouses are officially worth more than office buildings.

You read that right.

That’s according to a Colliers International report, which said that in 2017 big-box warehouses (measuring at least 200,000 square feet and boasting 28-foot ceilings) sold at an average capitalization rate of 5.8%. That’s below the 6.7% cap rate for all U.S. office space and nearly beats the 5.7% rate for offices in central business districts, Bloomberg reports.

Topics: Industry News
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6 commercial real estate associations to join and how to get the most out of them

By Kim Howard on Apr 9, 2018

ccim-pin-320x204Joining a commercial real estate association is one of the best ways to widen your network. It can also increase your credibility with clients and help give your career a boost by providing access to people, resources, and continuing education opportunities you wouldn’t be able to obtain otherwise.

While there’s lots of associations to choose from, we’ve highlighted some of the top ones brokers should consider joining. Some may be a better fit for you than others, but they’re all highly regarded among commercial real estate professionals.

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The Agile broker: Lessons and practices to be more productive

By Steve Neely on Apr 5, 2018

sticky notes on a white board to increase productivity“Now agile methodologies—which involve new values, principles, practices, and benefits and are a radical alternative to command-and-control-style management—are spreading across a broad range of industries and functions and even into the C-suite.”

- “Embracing Agile” by Darrell K. Rigby, Jeff Sutherland, Hirotaka Takeuchi. Harvard Business Review, May 2016

Agile is by far the most commonly used methodology for software companies. But why? It’s not something that’s specifically for software companies. Anyone can use Agile.

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5 end-of-day rituals of successful brokers

By Erik Dolan-Del Vecchio on Apr 4, 2018

broker_on_motorcycle-432428-edited-1-1For many of us, the end of the workday is about quickly finishing a few final tasks, beating traffic and maybe saying goodbye on our way out the door.

While those arent bad things (who wants to be stuck in traffic?), just like with mornings, the most successful brokers tend to follow an end-of-day routine that helps set the stage for success.

And while everybody and every day is different, we can all benefit from thinking about what we do at the end of the day and analyzing whether or not those habits help us reach our goals. From updating your to-do list to reflecting on your day, follow these tips to make every tomorrow a success.

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Why you lost that deal: 3 lessons from brokers

By Irena Ashcraft on Apr 3, 2018

when-you-lose-a-deal-320x213We don’t think there’s a single broker out there with a perfect track record. Along with the wins, of course, everyone has had their share of losses. But top brokers know that there’s no point letting a loss go to waste—you might as well learn from it. Sometimes things fall apart no matter what you do. But other times, you look back and think, “OK, next time I’m playing this differently."

We asked brokers across the nation to tell us about the deals they’ve lost and what they learned from them. Here’s what they had to say:

Topics: Interviews
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How to use a map to turn a deal into another deal

By Russ Duncan on Apr 2, 2018

Closing a deal and cashing a commission check is such a good feeling, right? After months—sometimes years—of hard work, all your efforts finally pay off.

If closing a deal is good news, the even better news is that you can easily keep up the momentum and use your recent success to drum up new business. Just think, you have relevant market intel that you can use with other owners in the market. Maybe they’re in a similar position to the deal you just closed.

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How’s your pipeline right now? Here are 3 things to do to keep it full.

By The Apto Team on Mar 29, 2018

brokers-suits-coffee-320x240The first quarter of 2018 is over. We hope you’re currently working deals, but it’s important to keep up any momentum you have when it comes to prospecting. Before you know it, Q2 will be over, and then summer will be over, and you’ll be scrambling to close those last deals of the year.

Make sure you’re working to keep your pipeline full--you’ll be glad you did whenever the season slows down. Let’s look at a few ways to stack your pipeline to keep it moving all year.

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5 examples of inspiring real estate marketing

By Nell Gable on Mar 28, 2018

Each day, 500 million tweets and 2.75 million blog posts go out into the web.

Brands fighting for their audiences’ online attention have a lot of competition.

Adding to this challenge, platforms like Facebook and Twitter have made subtle yet hugely impactful changes to their algorithms that make getting eyeballs on updates much more difficult for businesses.

Still, some brands manage to win the game and stand out against the odds. How do they do it? Creativity, timeliness, and boldness.

Here are some inspiring examples of real estate brands doing what it takes to stand out. We highlight both residential and commercial because you can take inspiration from anywhere!

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6 ways top brokers prioritize for success

By Erik Dolan-Del Vecchio on Mar 27, 2018

broker-buildings 320x213.jpgWhether it’s hitting meetings around town, prospecting or speeding through administrative tasks, most brokers don’t have much downtime. The sheer amount and variety of work that comes with brokerage is exhilarating, but it can also be difficult to manage.

To get the most out of your time and effort, learn how to prioritize like a champion.

Use Apto to help prioritize and manage tasks

From working deliberately to learning how and when to say “no,” use these six tips to prioritize your time to boost productivity and win more deals.

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Think you need a new junior broker? Here’s how to hire the right person.

By Irena Ashcraft on Mar 26, 2018

millennial-broker-420479-edited.jpegIf you’re ready to take on a junior broker, congratulations! Building out a team can take some weight off your shoulders while bringing in more business.

But before that happens, there’s a lot you’ll have to figure out: how to find the right person, which tasks to start them off with, and finally, how to negotiate a fair commission split. Today, we’ll delve into the details of hiring your first junior broker—form bringing them onboard to bringing in your first deal together.

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What's most important to you when it comes to CRE tech?

By The Apto Team on Mar 22, 2018

When you’re evaluating a new CRE technology for your business, you probably have a few specific things you’re looking to accomplish. Maybe you want a better workflow for prospecting and following up, or perhaps you just want task prioritization and management.

Whatever it is, Apto can help. Get a personalized look at our tools by selecting what you’re looking for.

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Is social media marketing for CRE overrated?

By Nell Gable on Mar 21, 2018

social_media_icons_large.pngJust about any marketing how-to article will tell you emphatically, that if you want to build awareness of your business or personal brand, you need to be active on social media.

After all, 81% of the United States population has at least one social media profile, and it’s predicted that by 2020, 2.95 billion people worldwide will be spending time on social media.

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Put it on autopilot: 5 ideas for automating your day

By Irena Ashcraft on Mar 20, 2018

automate-daily-tasks-320x160.jpgAs a CRE broker, you’ve got enough to do in your day without having to do it over and over and over again. You know what we mean: from re-typing the same exact thing a zillion times to sending twenty emails to schedule one simple meeting.

Today, we’re simplifying your life with these five must-try tips for automating your day. Here’s how to free up more time for better things, starting right now:

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What’s the future of CRM?

By Tanner McGraw on Mar 19, 2018

blurry_city-320x202.jpegThis article first appeared in Propmodo.

In the late aughts, I was a commercial real estate broker in a desperate search for technology to organize my business. At Marcus & Millichap, I was making hundreds of calls a week and working pretty sizable deals, and it was ridiculous to me that there was no software designed for my industry that could make my job easier. The design and functionality that existed at the time was rudimentary at best, counterproductive at worst, and nothing was in the cloud.

That’s why I created my own CRM, and eventually founded Apto. Even since then, CRE brokerage has changed quite a bit. When I last took stock in 2013, Apto was still just a baby. Barely two years old, we were still learning how to walk, keep our balance, and feed ourselves.

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6 PropTech conferences to network at this year

By Erik Dolan-Del Vecchio on Mar 15, 2018

mipim-proptech-europe-2018-conferences-320x192.pngTechnology is pushing the commercial real estate industry to evolve faster than ever before. From software that integrates the entire deal lifecycle to smart buildings that automatically reduce indoor CO2 levels, PropTech comes in all shapes and sizes.

Using the right technology gives everyone from brokers to owners major advantages in today’s market, but before you can realize those gains you need to learn what technology is right for you. PropTech conferences are a great opportunity to do that.

They’re also fun and offer fantastic networking opportunities.

There are tons of PropTech conferences and seminars scheduled for 2018, so rather than try and cover them all, we decided to hone in on six we believe will be the largest and most important. From Paris to San Francisco, attend these conferences to stay at the forefront of industry innovation.

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How to survive the next CRE downturn

By Irena Ashcraft on Mar 14, 2018

red-arrow-downturn-320x226.jpgDownturn? Wait—what downturn?

If that’s what you were thinking just now, you’re right: we aren’t in one. Which makes this an excellent time to plan for the next one.

And of course, there will be a next one—there always is. After all, the good times can’t last forever, and deep inside we all know that. Just ask the brokers who were doing business back in the glory days of 2007, right before the Great Recession.

In fact, if you know brokers who survived the last recession and have the battle scars to prove it, do this: ask them how they did it, and how they’re preparing for the next rough patch. A few CRE pros are already getting a head start on that question over at Wall Street Oasis—here’s what they’re talking about, plus our take on what else you can do to stay on top in a downturn.

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KANBAN, GTD, and more productivity frameworks for getting work done fast

By Nell Gable on Mar 13, 2018

brokers-table-project-management 320x213.jpgAs an individual, you probably have your little tricks and shortcuts that help you manage tasks and stay organized day to day. But there’s probably more you can do to be productive, and if you’re working on a team, then you need to be even more intentional in working toward your goals.

Team projects require way more communication and organization to stay on track and achieve the desired result. We’ve all witnessed a project go awry because of workstyle clashes.

The solve for this challenge can often be found in project management frameworks like KANBAN, Getting Things Done (GTD), and Scrum. Project management frameworks are any combination of tools, methodologies, and steps that move a given project from start to finish. Ideally, they help keep individuals accountable to a common goal through transparency.

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5 morning rituals of successful brokers

By Erik Dolan-Del Vecchio on Mar 12, 2018

city-sunrise-320x212.jpgWhether its rising with the sun to get a jump on the day or hitting the snooze button as many times as possible, we all have different morning routines. Nobody can tell you the perfect way to structure your morning, but if youre hoping to reinvigorate yourself or your business, start by taking a hard look at how you begin the day.

And if youre looking for inspiration, many of the industrys top performers and the worlds most successful people follow a similar set of morning rituals. From getting up early to setting goals, here are five things many of the worlds most successful people do before getting to work.

Apto helps you prioritize tasks so you start the day right

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Check out this year’s DNA of #CRE Report

By The Apto Team on Mar 8, 2018

Have you seen the DNA of CRE survey yet? Buildout and theBrokerList teamed up for the third year in a row to examine the genetic makeup of the commercial real estate industry.

Take a look at how the #CRE world works for both brokers and marketers. Plus, the uncovered data provides a benchmark to see how you stack up against your peers across the country!

We’ve included the broker breakdown below, and you can check out the rest here.

Topics: Industry News
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Apto + LDCRE―integrated to broaden your marketing reach

By Russ Duncan on Mar 7, 2018

Leavitt Digital, or LDCRE, is a commercial real estate listing distribution platform, syndicating listings to 900+ news websites around the world. Those websites cover 27 countries, all 50 U.S. states, and 7,100 global cities.

And it now integrates directly with Apto, meaning your listings get way more exposure with no effort on your end.

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How to start valuing your time

By Irena Ashcraft on Mar 6, 2018

watch_by_computer-720230-edited.jpeg“…do not squander time, for that is the stuff life is made of.” - Benjamin Franklin

They say time is money, but we think that equation could use an update: time is far more valuable than money. Think about it: if you squander the money you have, you can always earn more of it. But you can never get your wasted time back. And yet some people just give their time away as if it were nothing: they fritter it away or worse, believe they’re using it wisely when really they’re just being “busy.”

Let’s acknowledge that there’s a huge difference between merely filling your time and valuing your time. Today, we’re sharing two powerful strategies to help you make the most of the finite amount of time you have each day.

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5 common misconceptions about CRE brokers

By Nell Gable on Mar 5, 2018

broker-building-window-320x213.jpgHow many times have you gotten completely shut down by someone on a cold call?

There are certain biases and misconceptions about commercial real estate brokers out there. Some you may find based in reality, while others probably seem unfair. Yet for those who take the high road, work hard, and operate with integrity, getting blamed for others’ misconduct or laziness can be infuriating.

At Apto, we’re lucky enough to speak with commercial real estate professionals at the top of their game every day, and it’s the stories we hear from them that inspire us. Here’s how some of these brokers prove the stereotypes wrong.

Topics: Interviews
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[Inside Apto] How we built our integrations and created a seamless product experience

By Andrew Babitt on Mar 1, 2018

computer-code-320x213.jpgHere in the engineering department at Apto, our goal is to build tools brokers love.

To do that, we also need to give our customers easy access to a number of technology integrations. We want each process and task to be simple—we’re not here to build a new email system after all—so Apto has to work seamlessly with many of the tools that brokers already use in their day-to-day routines.

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5 ways to improve your call etiquette and strategy

By Erik Dolan-Del Vecchio on Feb 28, 2018

Cold_Calling_Apto_Best_Practices-320x213.jpgWhether it’s cold calling or reconnecting with past clients, brokers spend a lot of time on the phone. But the key to winning more deals isn’t simply the number of hours you spend dialing — it’s about using that time effectively.

From calling at the best times to making the most of technology, use these five tips to perfect future phone calls and win more business.

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3 ways Millennials and Gen Z are changing CRE

By Erik Dolan-Del Vecchio on Feb 27, 2018

phone-millennial-abstract-320x259.jpgAlthough tech adoption has increased in recent years, the commercial real estate industry is still pretty old school. But that wont be the case forever, and from the industry age gap to changing preferences in the workplace and market, Millennials, and Generation Z are already making waves throughout the industry.

Many segments of the CRE world are in need of young talent. The latest National Association of Realtors Commercial Member Profile said the median age of a commercial realtor was 60 years old. That dynamic is pushing companies across the industry to hire younger workers, and when it comes to work/life balance and commercial space needs, Americas younger generations have different expectations than their predecessors.

From a growing demand for remote work to market changes impacting future space needs, Millennials and Generation Z are forcing the industry to evolve.

Topics: Industry News
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The YouTube videos every CRE broker should see

By Irena Ashcraft on Feb 26, 2018

Time for a little break? Grab a coffee and spend a few minutes with these YouTube videos: they’re a great way to get energized, inspired, and ready to tackle whatever else your day has in store.

Here are our must-watch picks for when...

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What does the democratization of CRM mean for CRE?

By The Apto Team on Feb 22, 2018

59c9921faca4f_jobs_report_career_business_people_computer_laptop_technology_CRE_tech-320x218.jpgBefore the days of more sophisticated technology, businesses had to manually stay up-to-date with their schedules, client information, and all other important data.

And many still do. Small businesses in particular are less less likely to have more advanced technology due to cost. Instead, they often still rely on spreadsheets or handwritten notes, which only increases the likelihood of making careless mistakes, like forgetting commitments or losing important information.

These days, thanks to new technology, staying organized is easier--and cheaper--than ever. While commercial real estate has traditionally lagged behind new technology, we’re starting to catch up. New customer relationship management (CRM) platforms designed specifically for CRE started to spring up a few years ago, and are continuing to mature and become more popular, easier to use, and less cost-prohibitive.

Let’s take a look at how the democratization of CRM plays out.

Topics: CRE Tech
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4 questions to ask yourself after every failed deal

By Erik Dolan-Del Vecchio on Feb 21, 2018

broker-thinking-window-320x189.jpgNobody likes to fail. Yet despite our attempts to avoid it, from time to time we all do. Whether it’s losing prospects to competitors or being unable to agree to final terms, everyone in this industry has at least a couple failures under their belt.

But in the quest to fail less, treat every failure as a valuable learning opportunity.

That’s admittedly easier said than done, but you can simplify the process by asking the right questions. From accurately identifying what went wrong to finding the best way to move forward, ask yourself these four questions after every failed deal to learn from your mistakes and forge ahead.

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Scandals and sports bars: This month in CRE

By Irena Ashcraft on Feb 20, 2018

BJ_0065 (2).jpgThis month, there was a lot in the world of CRE that caught our eye, including a federal-level controversy, a possible opening for Amazon HQ, and the triumph of Dave & Buster's.

Here’s what’s on our radar for February:

Topics: Industry News
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[Inside Apto] Why we host hackathons every quarter

By Steve Neely on Feb 15, 2018

hackathon-laptops 320x213.jpg"Hackathons are so valuable because they are a time when we're able to think past the next day or week and just build without constraints. Taking this time to think differently pays off with new ideas.”

- Pedram Keyani, Director of Engineering at Facebook

If you’re at all familiar with the tech world, you might have heard about hackathons. A hackathon is defined as “an event, typically lasting several days, in which a large number of people meet to engage in collaborative computer programming.” I’ll note that while it started with computer engineers, it can also be more than that.

The goal is to refresh team creativity, take a break from day-to-day tasks and habits, and refocus on the bigger mission of the organization. At Apto, that means building tools brokers love.

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Brokers, are you up to speed on these 3 business trends?

By The Apto Team on Feb 14, 2018

business-trends-320x259.jpgWe’re still adjusting to the New(ish) Year and all the buzzwords and trends that come with it. Whether it’s different consumer patterns or expectations, commentary on workforce changes, or just new best practices, it’s worth brushing up on the latest trends. Here are three that you should take note of as you work to advance your business in 2018.

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Amazon HQ2 Race: Who’s leading and who’s been kicked out

By Erik Dolan-Del Vecchio on Feb 13, 2018

amazon hq2-320x213.jpgAfter receiving 238 proposals, Amazon narrowed the list of the possible metro areas to house its second headquarters to 20 contenders.

The list includes many of the country’s largest cities and is heavily focused on the East Coast, but it still isn't clear where Amazon will build its new $5 billion campus and create 50,000 high-paying jobs.

From top contenders like Washington D.C. to cities that surprisingly failed to make the cut, we decided to take a closer look at how the Amazon HQ2 race is unfolding.

Topics: Industry News
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Don’t write another email until you read this

By Irena Ashcraft on Feb 12, 2018

emails-marketing-320x180.jpegEmails. Gotta write them. Gotta send them. But the person who gets them doesn’t have to do a single thing. They can ignore, delete, or just let them linger in inbox purgatory.

Which isn’t that encouraging, because after you spend all that time writing just the right message to a prospect, the last place you want it to go is in the trash.

So how do you write emails that get read—and even better, get a response? Today we’re sharing our top tips for writing must-read emails.

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Make sure you’re doing these 6 things to keep in touch with past clients

By Erik Dolan-Del Vecchio on Feb 8, 2018

how_to_handle_the_first_meeting_with_a_client__ts.jpgWe’ve all heard the rhyme about making new friends and keeping the old, but sometimes we forget just how gold those old relationships can be.

From referrals to continued business, most brokers rely on past clients to prospect and churn out more deals. (That’s why we made it an auto-generated call list in Prospect & Nurture.)

Yet the longer you go without connecting with a past client, the greater the chance that relationship will fade. And since it costs five times as much to attract a new client than to keep an old one, there’s no reason you should let a past client forget you.

From passing on news to picking up the phone, use these seven strategies to make sure that never happens.

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A visual to show you our latest visual tool―Apto Maps

By The Apto Team on Feb 7, 2018

If a picture is worth a thousand words, then a map is worth a thousand spreadsheets. 

That’s why we created Apto Maps. This new tool within Prospect & Nurture helps you prospect and win deals by giving you visual, interactive tools to analyze your market. You’ll be able to turn location-driven observations into action with smarter call lists and deeper insights.

Take a look, then request a demo to get a more detailed introduction.

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Q&A: The do’s and don’ts of technology adoption, according to our senior project manager

By Nell Gable on Feb 6, 2018

broker-data-relationships-320x216.jpgMaggie Ham is a senior project manager at Apto. She has helped brokerages of all different sizes find success with our technology. We sat down with her to learn what makes an Apto customer successful, and what practices can ultimately sabotage a technology roll-out.

Maggie focuses on CRM, and it’s important to note that this needs to be set up right to take advantage of our prospecting and mapping tools. It’s your data, and it needs to be organized so you’ll take action on it! Here’s how to get set up for success.

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3 reasons people don't want to work with you

By Irena Ashcraft on Feb 5, 2018

dwight-shrute-office-320x180.jpgThe majority of brokers we know are professional, hard-working, and great with people—which is essentially a prerequisite for being successful in this industry, right?

Still, we were fascinated to read complaints about brokers and other commercial real estate professionals who were apparently coming across as rude, entitled, and condescending—and turning off potential clients and investors in the process.

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6 tech predictions for 2018 and how they’ll impact CRE

By Erik Dolan-Del Vecchio on Feb 1, 2018

blurry_city-320x202.jpegTechnology is evolving faster than ever before. From Bitcoin’s explosive growth to drones buzzing in parks and construction sites across the country, 2017 was a year of rapid tech growth.

There’s reason to believe that growth will accelerate this year, and given how technology is impacting every segment of the industry, CRE professionals would do well to stay on top of unfolding trends—even those not directly related to the industry. From the fate of blockchain to increased job automation, here are six tech predictions for 2018.

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A note from our CEO: Why I know Apto will win—and brokers will, too

By Angela Tucci on Jan 31, 2018

It took just one meeting with Tanner McGraw, founder of Apto, for me to know that this company had a tiger by the tail. And I wanted to be a part of it.

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Being a specialist pays—so should you do it? 3 questions to ask first.

By Irena Ashcraft on Jan 30, 2018

broker-buildings (1).jpg“Most agents nationally are generalists, but they make significantly less money than specialists per NAR research," says Greg Schenk of The Schenk Company. “You need to pick an area that you are passionate about and be the expert in that area to excel."

Schenk’s comment caught our eye, so we asked ourselves, “Is it really better to be a specialist?” If specialists earn more money, should we be encouraging all brokers—or at least our readers—to build depth in one specific area? And how does it vary by market?

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Partners, integrations, and apps: 29+ ways technology can and should fit with your workflow

By The Apto Team on Jan 29, 2018

59c9921faca4f_jobs_report_career_business_people_computer_laptop_technology_CRE_tech-320x218.jpgYour workflow as a broker has about a million moving parts. From prospecting and building relationships to marketing and deal management, you have your work cut out for you.

It can be overwhelming to evaluate and optimize for each part of the process, and it’s wise to try and keep things as simple as possible. There are many products out there that can cover a lot of bases at once. And those core products often can and should integrate with easy-to-use apps and other tools to keep your workflow centralized.

That’s why we’re focused on simplicity in our product. We want to provide you with tools you love to use, and to that end, we want you to keep using the tools you already know and love.

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8 tips to build and maintain strong professional relationships

By Erik Dolan-Del Vecchio on Jan 25, 2018

broker-shaking-hands-224097-edited.jpgStrong work relationships support successful careers. That’s especially true in the world of commercial real estate; from closing deals to finding better prospects, this industry is all about relationships.

As if that isn’t reason enough to cultivate professional relationships, analysis of Gallup interviews suggests people with a close friend at work are much more likely to be engaged and productive.

From building friendships on your team to boosting your network, use these tips to cultivate stronger relationships at work.

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The biggest prospecting mistake brokers make, and how to avoid it

By Irena Ashcraft on Jan 24, 2018

man-suit-coffee-064577-edited-1.jpgWhat’s the biggest error you could possibly make while prospecting?

Making the conversation all about you.

You may not think you’re guilty of this, but according to Rod Santomassimo at The Massimo Group, it’s the most common prospecting gaffe he sees brokers make, no matter how experienced or successful they are.

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What the rise of work-life symbiosis means for CRE (hint: it’s not just about office space)

By Nell Gable on Jan 23, 2018

people-office-group-team-928827-edited-2.jpgFor many professionals, the lines between our work and non-work lives are growing increasingly blurry. And many even tend to like it that way.

With the advent of smartphones and wireless internet, most knowledge workers no longer need to be at work to get work done. According to Gallup, 43% of workers spend at least some of their time working remote, up from 39% in 2012. As a result, the role of the office is evolving.

Rather than consider our offices as a place to punch in and out before heading home to relax, we now seek out offices that function as community hubs that allow its members to be productive both in work and in life.

This shift will have obvious effects on the commercial office landscape--but less obvious ones on the retail and hospitality spaces. Here’s what you can expect.

Topics: Disruption
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[Tip sheet] 31 Quick and Dirty Prospecting Tips for Commercial Real Estate Brokers

By The Apto Team on Jan 22, 2018

Prospecting for new business is the lifeblood of a commercial real estate broker. To be successful, you need to build strong relationships and continually grow your network.

That’s why we pulled together a tip sheet to help you up your prospecting game at every stage of the process. These tips are short and sweet but are meant to inspire you to think of your workflow anew, from the technology you use to conversion metrics to relationship-building techniques and beyond.

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Meet Apto Maps, the visual tool that will change your prospecting game forever

By Russ Duncan on Jan 18, 2018

Consider these two aphorisms: location, location, location and a picture is worth a thousand words. In the world of commercial real estate, the latter communicates the former. It accomplishes this through the time-tested technology―a map.

Fortunately for you, Apto Prospect & Nurture now features an all new mapping tool to help you get more out of your property, listing, and comp data.

Get a demo of Apto Maps

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What it takes to transform selling from an art to a science

By Nell Gable on Jan 17, 2018

broker-building-window-320x213.jpgAny person in the business of selling needs a way to track and manage relationships.

CRM, or customer relationship management, is what begins to transform selling from an art to a science by distilling it into a set of calculated and repeatable actions, all set to reach the ultimate goal of making more money.

Some teams will opt for the do-it-yourself approach and manage relationships through basic Excel spreadsheets, while others will take a more progressive approach and lean on a cloud-based CRM tool such as the one we provide here at Apto.

But have you ever wondered what more your technology can do, but aren’t quite sure what that more might be or where to find it? Here are some considerations for what technology can do for you.

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Why people think Amazon may buy Target and what a deal would mean for CRE

By Erik Dolan-Del Vecchio on Jan 16, 2018

amazon-target-320x180.jpgAfter buying Whole Foods for $13.7 billion, it seems like everyone has the same question: who will Amazon buy next? Predictions range from the sensible to the outlandish, yet of all possible contenders, Target is getting the most attention.

Well-known technology analyst Gene Munster recently predicted Amazon will buy Target sometime this year. With a current market cap approaching $42 billion, that’s a bold prediction, but it’s not unbelievable. Yet the deal is certainly not a sure thing and there are good reasons to think it won’t become a reality. While nobody can say for sure if Amazon will move to acquire Target, any potential deal would have an enormous impact on retail real estate and the technology it depends on.

Topics: Industry News
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Apto + Buildout—integrated to help you broker like a boss

By Russ Duncan on Jan 15, 2018

Apto + Buildout = success.pngLet’s think about the deal lifecycle for a moment.

From the first time you talk to a new prospect to when that check gets cashed, there are dozens of moving parts. And dozens of apps and tools to help with each of those parts.

Well, that number just went down a bit. Apto and Buildout are integrated to make the move from pitch to marketing that much smoother and simpler.

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The Best Practices Library: Your go-to resource for CRE strategy, now updated

By The Apto Team on Jan 15, 2018

chessObjection.jpgThere’s no shortage of commercial real estate content out there (including our own), but the specifics of using CRE tech are a little harder to come by.

For example, we talk about prospecting all the time. Target high-value opportunities, we say (and we’re not the only ones). But what are the high value opportunities, and how do you find them? Why is that the best strategy? How can technology help?

Well, the Best Practices Library has the answer. We’ve recently made some updates that reflect our latest products, so we hope you’ll check it out! And we’ll be adding more articles in the weeks to come.

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7 smart ways to structure your day for max productivity, according to science

By Irena Ashcraft on Jan 11, 2018

BJ_0065 (2).jpgIn this ultra-competitive industry, every broker you know is working as hard as they can. Just look around you—people placing calls, dashing off to meet prospects, poring over new listings.

So what’s going to set you apart? Working smarter, not harder. Here are seven science-backed productivity tips that can give you a huge edge.

Here's another way to get an edge...

Topics: Efficiency
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4 how-to guides for CRE brokers

By The Apto Team on Jan 10, 2018

Are you back in the swing of things at work? Keeping your New Year's resolutions? In case you need a little more inspiration, here are four guides that cover CRM, prospecting, and marketing for commercial real estate. 

Read them all and then browse our library for other tips and perspectives. 

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4 reasons CRE brokers need to rely on visualization tools

By Erik Dolan-Del Vecchio on Jan 9, 2018

Get a demo of Apto Mapsp&nmapping_pointballoon-320x166.pngIn the world of commercial real estate, professionals have long turned to spreadsheets for their data needs. While spreadsheets are great for storing lots of data, they are not so great when it comes to identifying strategic trends. They’re also about as interactive as a brick wall.

Modern data integration and visualization systems are filling the void, giving CRE professionals the ability to make sense of their data quickly while using it in new and exciting ways. From unlocking your data’s true potential to boosting prospecting efforts, here are four reasons you should go beyond spreadsheets and use data visualization tools to amplify your business.

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What to know about cannabis real estate, and what might be changing

By Nell Gable on Jan 8, 2018

alexandre-chambon-157651.jpgThose interested in the cannabis industry will have a lot to talk about in the coming months.

With the legalization of recreational cannabis sales in California, which went into effect on January 1, 2018, there are a total of nine states where the average citizen can purchase marijuana products, so long as they are over the age of 21. Medical marijuana is legal in a total of 29 states.

The softening of state and federal drug laws in recent years has allowed the cannabis industry to flourish, posting close to $29 billion in sales in 2018.

With this spike in demand for recreational marijuana came a dramatic increase in demand for cannabis-suitable real estate. While the laws and regulations surrounding this specialty are tricky, and can even foreseeably get brokers and other agents involved in transactions into legal trouble, professionals who take a chance on pot stand a lot to gain.

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10 New Year’s resolutions worth keeping for every CRE broker

By Irena Ashcraft on Jan 4, 2018

city-sunrise-320x212.jpgHow will you make 2018 your best year yet?

We looked back at a year of blog posts to bring you the 10 New Year’s resolutions every broker should consider making—and keeping—in 2018. Feeling inspired? Pick one of these ideas and make it happen. Remember, success isn’t just about reading something and bookmarking it for later: it’s about turning what you learn into action.

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“It went from taking 4 hours of a day to 30 minutes of a day.”

By The Apto Team on Jan 3, 2018

Jules Hochman of Denver-based Pinnacle Real Estate Group leads a six-person team within his firm. With four brokers, a transaction manager, and an executive assistant, they’ve found a niche in multifamily and retail.

He’s been in the business for a couple decades, and the biggest change he’s seen is the rise of technology. Now, he acknowledges that “as a broker, you always want to do more business, and without technology you can’t.”

Fortunately, he’s found a tool that gives his team more time and lets them get more transactions done.

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7 metrics every CRE broker needs to know

By Nell Gable on Jan 2, 2018

broker-graphs-300228-edited-1.jpegGood commercial real estate brokers are relationship-building experts. Great commercial real estate brokers know how to bolster those relationships with data to close more deals, faster.

Unfortunately, some of us just aren’t numbers people. But in the era of big data, not being “a numbers guy” really isn’t an option anymore.

Luckily, technology has gotten more powerful and easy to use than ever. But with all that data available to you, you still need to know what to analyze and how to use it to achieve your goals.

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Up your networking game in 2018: 5 ways to build your digital rolodex

By The Apto Team on Dec 28, 2017

biz-networking-320x213.jpgReady for 2018? Commercial real estate brokers know that near-constant networking is the key to success. You never know who you’ll meet or what new ideas you’ll be exposed to. So before you head into the New Year, brush up on a few ways to set your networking strategy.

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The top 10 most read posts of 2017

By The Apto Team on Dec 21, 2017

fireworks.jpegWe hope that you had a good year and that you're ready for everything 2018 has in store. As we get ready to close out the year, we wanted to share our most popular blogs (just in case you missed them).

Enjoy—and Happy New Year!

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3 product updates: Better mass email, contact intel, and maps

By The Apto Team on Dec 20, 2017

rsz_p&nmapping_pointballoon.pngThe holidays are upon us, but we’ve been hard at work making sure brokers are set up for success in 2018. Read on to learn about three exciting product updates from the month.

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6 steps to structure an effective CRE sales pipeline review

By Nell Gable on Dec 19, 2017

how_to_handle_the_first_meeting_with_a_client__ts-320x207.jpgThose who work in sales—especially commercial real estate—are always on the go. But taking time to slow down and reflect on what’s going well, and more importantly, what isn’t going well, is an essential part of running a high-functioning sales operation.

Whether you’re a manager trying to get a better hold on your team’s activities or an associate aiming to manage up and gain accountability so you can ultimately close more deals, it’s important to structure these smaller meetings intentionally. Otherwise, you risk wasting 30 minutes to an hour on aimless conversation that could surely be better used elsewhere.

We’ve spoken with a number of CRE professionals and pulled out the essential steps to running a productive sales pipeline review.

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[Infographic] How much time can technology actually save a broker?

By Franco Faraudo on Dec 18, 2017

“Time is money!” We’ve all heard it, and probably said it as well.

Unfortunately, it’s really not true. Money can be created, traded, borrowed, and collateralized. Time can only be used, killed, or lost.

As a commercial real estate broker, though, more time means more deals, which means more money. That much is true. Adopting technology can seem like an unwanted expense and a downright hassle at first, but a little bit of time saving can add up to a lot. And many CRE-specific tools are becoming easier and more intuitive to use.

At this point, you really can’t afford to not take advantage of automation and technology for your business. Let’s take a look at just how much time it can save you.

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10 commercial real estate conferences to attend in 2018

By Kim Howard on Dec 14, 2017

CRE Tech conference-320x213.jpegMost brokers know that networking is critical to finding prospects and growing their client list. Attending industry events is one of the best ways to network with a lot of people in a short amount of time.

Some brokers may be hesitant to spend time away from the office, but that’s a mistake. Conferences are one of the best ways to network with people you might not otherwise meet in your local market.

Beyond that, they often feature industry speakers and continuing education sessions that keep you up to date on the latest trends and boost your industry knowledge. While there are many conferences to choose from, here are 10 that we think are worth attending in 2018.

Use Apto to track who you meet at each event

Topics: Industry News
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Two inspiring broker stories to help you rise above big challenges

By Irena Ashcraft on Dec 13, 2017

broker-buildings 320x213.jpgIf CRE brokerage has been smooth sailing for you, count yourself as one of the lucky (and rare) ones! Most brokers have to work hard to overcome personal challenges and tough lessons learned along the way, but those who do come out all the better for it.

We asked a couple of brokers about the biggest challenges they’ve faced in their careers, and how they have dealt with them. We think you’ll enjoy their stories: there’s wisdom in each that all of us can learn from!

Topics: Interviews
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5 ways to maximize social media marketing in CRE

By Erik Dolan-Del Vecchio on Dec 12, 2017

DEZdf6gW0AAU79i.jpgSocial media is one of the best ways to reach new audiences, grow your network and generate prospects. Yet many commercial real estate professionals struggle to achieve its full potential.

It isnt enough to post to Facebook or Twitter every few days; an effective social media campaign is all about knowing your target audience and engaging with your community on a daily basis. From getting started on LinkedIn to reaching millennials through Instagram, follow these tips to grow your social media presence and drive your business.

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How Baum Realty Group uses tech to get more deals done

By The Apto Team on Dec 11, 2017

Baum Realty is a retail brokerage firm based in Chicago, IL. For years they’d been struggling with a siloed tech stack and data spread across a variety of sources and tools.

And then they switched to Apto.

As Mike Demetriou, President of Baum Realty Group put it: "It's unusual that you can find a piece of technology you can actually ascribe to getting a deal done, and therefore monetize the investment you made in technology."

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Apto + OfficeSpace.com—integrated to get you greater exposure and more deals

By Russ Duncan on Dec 7, 2017

Officespace.com-listing-sites-320x222.pngLet’s think about the marketing workflow for a moment.

After months of building a relationship with a new contact, you sign an exclusive rep agreement. You’ve done your homework on the property, capturing details and photos diligently in Apto. Now you can convert that property to a listing and hit the ground running. You need to get the word out to your network, comb through your database for potential tenants, send emails and make calls.

Well, now instead of entering the same property details time and time again across different listing sites, you can dramatically broaden your reach with the click of a button.

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Create​ ​your​ ​dream​ ​team:​ ​Adding​ ​former​ ​elite​ ​athletes​ ​to​ ​your​ ​CRE roster

By Viktor Simco on Dec 6, 2017

business-man-track-hurdle-320x213.jpgLooking to hire new brokers to your team? There are plenty of salespeople out there, but it can be difficult to find the right fit for commercial real estate, a competitive industry with long deal timelines and complex transactions.

To find a team member with the requisite skills and mindset, consider recruiting former professional athletes. A broker whose personality and skills were honed through the brutal testing ground of professional athletics can be an ideal partner.

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What to know about the 3 cities offering Amazon the biggest incentives to house HQ2

By Erik Dolan-Del Vecchio on Dec 5, 2017

amazon hq2-320x213.jpgEarly next year Amazon will choose one North American city to house its second headquarters. The company welcomed city proposals to explain why Amazon should build its $5 billion campus and create some 50,000 jobs within their borders, and no less than 238 cities responded.

While some bidders are trying to attract the king of e-commerce with outlandish proposals involving name changes and oversized cacti, most are hoping to woo the company with land and tax incentives. These three cities are offering Amazon more than the rest.

Topics: Industry News
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Death to bad meetings: The do’s and don’ts that lead to more productivity for each broker

By Nell Gable on Dec 4, 2017

bad-meeting-660391-edited.pngIf you’ve ever found yourself stuck in a pointless meeting wondering, “Couldn’t this have been covered in an email?”, you’re not alone.

In a survey of 182 senior managers in a range of industries, the Harvard Business Review found that 65% of respondents said meetings keep them from completing their own work and 71% said meetings are unproductive and inefficient.

And bad meetings aren’t just frustrating; they’re bad for business. More than $37 billion per year is spent on unproductive meetings according to an eye-opening infographic from Fuze. Each minute spent in a meeting is one you’re not working deals and building relationships.

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Brokers respond: Who do you admire most in this industry, and why?

By Irena Ashcraft on Nov 30, 2017

man-suit-coffee-064577-edited.jpgWhether it’s a mentor, an older colleague, or even a competitor, chances are you’ve looked at a person you admire and said, “Wow, how do they do that? I’d love to get to their level.”

We asked a few brokers about those people in the industry who’ve stood out most to them—and why—and here’s what we found out. Here’s three cheers for the people who inspire us to do better and be better on a daily basis.

Topics: Interviews
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4 tips for fueling your pipeline for the New Year

By The Apto Team on Nov 29, 2017

happy-new-year-320x213.jpgDuring the holiday season, business sometimes slows down as our focus turns to parties, shopping and spending time with family and friends. So what can we do to make sure we end the year on a positive note with a strong final quarter?

Here are four tips for fueling your pipeline for the New Year.

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9 time saving apps for every CRE broker

By Erik Dolan-Del Vecchio on Nov 28, 2017

TNF-v1-Logo-320x144.pngTodays apps make saving time easier than ever before. That is, as long as combing through list after list of them doesnt sap your whole day.

There are tons of apps out there, and while many are helpful for CRE professionals, it can be daunting trying to find the ones that really make a difference. Thats why we did the dirty work for you. From simplifying leases to staying up to date on industry trends, these 9 apps give you the tools to stop wasting time and make the most of your day.

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3 tips to win more business with client reviews and success stories

By Irena Ashcraft on Nov 27, 2017

buildings phone-1.jpeg“Nothing draws a crowd quite like a crowd.” - P.T. Barnum

The more people flock to your business…the more people will flock to your business. P.T. Barnum’s words are something every broker should take to heart, because positive reviews and client case studies have a magical way of bringing you more clients. This is especially true in commercial real estate, where relationships are king. You need to share your success through every channel available.

According to BrightLocal’s most recent survey, 85% of people trust online reviews as much as word of mouth recommendations. Reviews are also one of the best ways to gain a potential client’s trust: 73% of people will trust a business more after reading its positive reviews, and people will read an average of 7 reviews before deciding to trust it.

With that in mind, here are some ideas for showing off your client testimonials and success stories.

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Instantly memorable: Get the perfect tagline for your business

By Irena Ashcraft on Nov 21, 2017

unique-pencil-320x213.jpgHow do you design the perfect tagline? One that’s not only memorable, but makes people say, “Oh, yeah, that’s exactly the broker we need.”

Today, we’re revealing the formula behind a great tagline and sharing a few pointers that will help you create a compelling one-liner that conveys what you do and the value you offer as a broker.

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Update from ULI: 4 emerging trends to take advantage of in 2018

By Erik Dolan-Del Vecchio on Nov 20, 2017

ET-Cropped-600x600-177559-edited.jpgEvery commercial real estate professional knows it’s essential to stay ahead of market trends.

To help people understand the industry’s evolving dynamics, the Urban Land Institute (ULI) and PwC recently published their seminal Emerging Trends in Real Estate report.

From the enormous disruption in the retail sector to industrial’s seemingly unstoppable growth, 2018 promises to be a year of change and opportunity. While ULI’s report covers many developing trends, we decided to hone in on four of the most significant.

Topics: Industry News
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The $450,000 post-it note

By Elizabeth Knight on Nov 16, 2017

note-to-self-postit-399271-edited.jpegThe other day, a few members of our product and sales teams got to talking about stories they’d heard recently from brokers. There were plenty of tales about legacy CRM systems and other outdated technology, but there were even more stories about offices stacked with paper and desktops crowded with Excel documents.  

But to me, this story takes the cake. It’s about the real cost of relying on those antiquated systems to prospect and build relationships. (Names and locations intentionally left out!) 

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4 easy ways to recharge your motivation

By Irena Ashcraft on Nov 15, 2017

chain-320x177.jpgYou don’t know why, but the days just seem to drag on. You’re not as excited about this job like you once were, and you’re wondering if this is the beginning of the end for you as a broker. Sound familiar?

Whether it’s a genuine career slump or just a brief dip in motivation, what you’re feeling is normal—and it happens to the best of brokers. But  you don’t have to stay stuck. Today, we’re bringing you four fresh ideas for summoning up that extra get-up-and-go when your tank’s nearly empty.

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Are you making these 10 common networking mistakes?

By Erik Dolan-Del Vecchio on Nov 14, 2017

networking mistakes.jpgNetworking is one of the best ways to find a job, discover new prospects, and grow your career. When done incorrectly, it’s one of the easiest ways to waste your time.

Everyone knows networking is important, but despite their best efforts, many people consistently go about it the wrong way. Much more than simply the means to land a new job or grow a client list, networking is the lifelong practice of building mutually beneficial relationships.

From focusing too much on collecting business cards to failing to help others, avoid these common networking mistakes and your hard work will finally start paying off.

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Glorified LEGOs? Deconstructing the latest trend in CRE + 4 examples

By Erik Dolan-Del Vecchio on Nov 13, 2017

iker-urteaga-246955.jpgModular construction could revolutionize the commercial real estate industry. From hotels to highrises, developers are turning to prefabricated buildings to complete projects faster, bypass the construction labor shortage and decrease costs.

While building something one place and assembling it in another is hardly a new idea, there are many misconceptions surrounding modular construction and its role in the industry. But thats beginning to change, and whether its a new Marriott hotel or a multifamily building in Brooklyn, modular construction is here to stay.

Topics: Industry News
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12 Broker Insights: Tips, Secrets, and Advice from the Field [ebook]

By Elizabeth Knight on Nov 9, 2017

APTO_12 insights_cover (1).pngYou have a broad network of contacts in the commercial real estate world, and so do we. We love hearing stories from brokers about their lives and careersthe best advice they ever received, the twists and turns that led them to unexpected places, and more.

We thought you might like to hear from them, too. Download and peruse this free ebook for broker quotes, tips for those just starting out, in-depth interviews, and more.

Topics: Interviews
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How to create call lists that make prospecting go faster

By Russ Duncan on Nov 8, 2017

A broker I know recently told me that, since adopting a new technology, “cold calls” have become “familiar calls.” That’s because as he churns through his daily prospecting calls, he has details about the contact on the screen in front of him so he can make a quick connection.

Here’s the story he told me:

“I recently called a landlord with a big business park out by the airport. In Prospect & Nurture, I saw right away on the map that there was construction for a distribution center nearby. I was able to reference that right away when we got on the call and ask how it was affecting his tenants. Just knowing what’s going on in the area makes it so much easier to make a connection with a stranger.”

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10 of the most beautiful train stations around the world

By Erik Dolan-Del Vecchio on Nov 7, 2017

Whether part of your daily commute or simply where you catch your ride to the airport, weve all spent time in train stations. Unfortunately, all too often that time is spent in an old dreary building that were grateful to get away from.

But not all train stations are like that, and from London to New York City, these 10 train stations are as much works of art as they are centers of transportation. They’re part of the CRE landscape of the city, and any architectural wonders in your city are worth your attention.  

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3 ways retail can keep brick and mortar relevant

By The Apto Team on Nov 6, 2017

retail-outdoor-space-641645-edited.jpgDo you remember shopping with your parents when you were a kid and enjoying an ice cream as payoff? Even though retail has changed dramatically in recent years, that combination of experiences in your memory is what is helping keep brick and mortar retail stores relevant today.

Despite the rise in online retail, there are still reasons why some customers prefer in-store experiences. Some want to physically touch the product, browse more options, or just the enjoy shopping experience itself.

It’s a competitive market, but there are ways traditional retail stores can keep customers coming through their doors.

Topics: Industry News
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Where do the best leads come from? 5 brokers weigh in.

By Irena Ashcraft on Nov 2, 2017

biz-networking-320x213.jpgWhere do you find great leads? Recently, we asked brokers about their go-to strategies for drumming up new business. Some confirmed that tried-and-true methods—like picking up the phone—worked best for them. And some surprised us with fresh ideas we hadn’t considered before.

Here’s what we discovered:

Topics: Interviews
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51 inspiring quotes to help you finish the year strong

By Nell Gable on Nov 1, 2017

success-mountain-463806-edited.jpegWe’re well into the final quarter of the year, and if you don’t anticipate a strong finish, there’s still time to turn things around.

Whether things are going swimmingly and you’re on track to meet your goals, or you’re finding yourself falling short, a little inspiration never hurt! We’ve curated a list of quotes aimed at motivating CRE professionals to do their best.

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Your scariest CRE horror stories, pt. 2

By Irena Ashcraft on Oct 31, 2017

haunted-buildings-black-white-320x160.jpegFollowing last week’s CRE horror stories, we’re bringing you more spooky tales to start your Halloween off right.

Kick back, relax, and enjoy a good scare!

Topics: Interviews
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6 must-ask interview questions to assess emotional intelligence

By The Apto Team on Oct 30, 2017

broker-shaking-hands-224097-edited.jpgEmotional intelligence is the hidden super power that separates top performers from the rest.

Emotionally intelligent people are far more likely to be successful, not because of luck, but because they’ve mastered the 11 psychological skills we cover in this ebook. People are far more likely to do business with those they like, even if a better deal exists elsewhere.

As a commercial real estate professional, your ability to detect emotional intelligence in others is just as important as your ability to operate with emotional intelligence yourself. You might feel like a one-man show at times, but the people with whom you surround yourself will either help or hurt your chances of success. So when interviewing job candidates, you need to sharpen your emotional intelligence detection skills.

Here are some revealing interview questions to keep in your back pocket:

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Your scariest CRE horror stories, pt. 1

By Irena Ashcraft on Oct 26, 2017

broker-balloon-dark 320x213.jpgIf ghosts and goblins don’t get your heart thumping, these CRE stories will. We reached out to brokers across the country to ask about the one time in their careers that things went horribly wrong. And they responded with truly terrifying tales sure to give you chills…or at least a good chuckle!

Read on for the best of our CRE horror stories, and leave your own in the comments!

Topics: Interviews
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Q&A: Anthony Grosso of First National Realty Partners on building private equity success in CRE

By Erik Dolan-Del Vecchio on Oct 25, 2017

589bcd27b36f2_Office_building_office_market_skyscraper_offices-320x219.jpegFour and a half years ago Anthony Grosso co-founded First National Realty Partners in suburban New Jersey. Today, his private equity firm has a team of over 20 professionals and manages a substantial portfolio of retail, office, industrial and multifamily assets.

From building a private equity firm from scratch to finding the perfect deal, Anthony shared his experiences on what it takes to succeed in the world of CRE.

Topics: Interviews
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Why office design is incorporating spaceship technology

By Erik Dolan-Del Vecchio on Oct 24, 2017

spaceship-technology-blog.jpgNot all office space is created equal. Employees are more productive when they are happy and healthy, and that’s why companies are always trying to make their offices better.

While stellar office design helps employees do their best work, some businesses are moving one step beyond design and focusing on technology. From controlling indoor air pollution to optimizing temperature and lighting, modern offices are using spaceship-esque technology to increase worker productivity.

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Last-mile distribution: 6 things to know about how it’s affecting CRE

By Irena Ashcraft on Oct 23, 2017

last-mile-blog-320x213.jpegE-commerce may be thriving online, but people forget that its success depends entirely on physical space: the distribution centers that keep things stocked and ready for delivery.

With online shopping on the rise, the demand for last-mile distribution space is growing—and it's ushering in a boom for the commercial real estate industry. For example, in the Bay Area, consumer demand for near-instant delivery has led to a 10% price increase for warehouse space. That’s in just two years.

So what does the future hold for brokers who hone in on this major opportunity? Here’s what you need to know.

Topics: Industry News
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The do's and don'ts of CRE blogging

By Nell Gable on Oct 19, 2017

man with pen and paper.jpegThe marketing landscape for every industry has evolved dramatically in the past decade. Traditional methods of marketing such as commercials, newspaper ads, even banner and display advertising are all but ignored by today’s consumer.

The next phase in marketing is content.

Why? Because content marketing involves the creation and promotion of valuable information that consumers actually want.

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7 ways to lift up your local community (and your business)

By Irena Ashcraft on Oct 18, 2017

group-together.jpegYou spend a lot of time actively chasing new business. But how much time do you spend getting to know the people in your community and actively helping them out?

Whether you’re coaching a little league team or organizing a donation drive, community involvement is a great way to make a positive contribution and meet new people. It also has the power to boost your business as people get to know you, trust you, and spread the word about what you do.

Today, we’re sharing seven simple ways to show your community a little love (and maybe get a little love back in return):

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Vision, perception, reality: The key to working your deals is in the balance

By Russ Duncan on Oct 17, 2017

chicago.jpg&maxw=600&q=100&cb=20170310085211&cci_ts=20170310085206.jpegLike many kids growing up in a bucolic yet blue-collar part of the Midwest, I had to exercise my imagination when it came to more glamorous landscapes that featured mountains, oceans, or skyscrapers. Thankfully I had Chicago and its architecture to inspire me and ground my thinking about place.

That imagination turned to vision as I devoured movies and TV shows about places like Beverly Hills, Miami, and New York. The more I saw on the screen, the more I felt I understood, the more I felt some version of those cities’ realities.

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[Infographic] 6 broker stereotypes, and the technology they may (or may not) be using

By Franco Faraudo on Oct 16, 2017

We all know them. The ex-athlete turned salesperson, reveling in the thrill of the deal. The former accountant who tracks every expense and detail, making sure nothing falls through the cracks. The career broker who still writes everything on paper.

Now let’s take a look at these common characters to see how they’re using (or not using) technology to run their business, and how if affects their professional (and personal) lives.

Get a demo of Apto

Topics: CRE Tech
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Boost your network with these 10 practices

By Erik Dolan-Del Vecchio on Oct 12, 2017

black-and-white-city-man-people.jpgStrong networks lay the foundation for successful businesses and prosperous careers. In the CRE world, networking is critical for finding new prospects and growing your client list. But many people dread the thought of introducing themselves to a group of strangers, or worse yet, speaking publicly.

Mastering the art of networking is a lifelong endeavor, and contrary to what some believe, it’s more than just aggressively handing out business cards. From starting right to making it a daily habit, following these tips will put you on the road to networking success.

Make follow-up easy with Prospect & Nurture

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The hurricane effect: How extreme weather impacts CRE

By Irena Ashcraft on Oct 11, 2017

hurricane-harvey-320x252.jpgIt’s been a hurricane season unlike any other, with four major storms hitting U.S. shores within weeks of each other: first Harvey, then Irma, Maria, and Nate. In the calm between the lashing wind and rain, we’re stopping to ask: What exactly does this all mean for CRE?

Today, we’re taking stock of the impact these storms have had on commercial real estate in three affected regions. Here’s where things stand:

Topics: Industry News
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7 interview mistakes to avoid and 5 things you absolutely must do to get the job

By Nell Gable on Oct 10, 2017

man-suit-hands-folded.jpgStudies have found that people decide whether or not they like you within seven seconds. That doesn’t give you much time to make a good first impression, especially when you’re in an interview situation.

Let’s face it, all you’re thinking about in that first seven seconds of a job interview is: Where do I sit? Should I have taken that glass of water? And what was the name of my interviewer again?

Interviews are high-stress situations. Even commercial real estate brokers or other salespeople, who are evaluated on their people skills, can stumble in their answers. Fortunately, like writing, delivering a killer sales pitch, or closing a deal—interviewing is a skill that can be learned with guidance and practice.

We polled seasoned HR representatives to determine what things you should definitely NOT say or do in an interview.

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7 office design mistakes to avoid at all costs

By Erik Dolan-Del Vecchio on Oct 9, 2017

office-space-milton-storage-320x213.jpgFrom the open floor plan to coworking spaces, offices are finally getting a much needed makeover. But when it comes to stellar office design, it isn't as simple as throwing in a slide or ping pong table and offering awesome perks (although that certainly doesn't hurt).

Effectively designed offices foster employee creativity, cut down on wasted time, and make businesses better. But as important as it is to update outdated offices and design new ones well, its equally important to avoid common office design pitfalls. From the usual culprits like poor lighting to less obvious problems like failing to differentiate space, avoiding these design mistakes will help ensure your office is a major asset to your business.

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3 strategies for women to succeed in CRE: An interview with Joanna Chango-James

By Irena Ashcraft on Oct 5, 2017

women-business-suits-round-table-320x180.jpegWe recently explored why having more women in CRE can be a very good thing for business, and how brokerages can make themselves more attractive to women. Today, we’re taking a look at it from the opposite angle, with thoughts on how aspiring female brokers can position themselves to be more successful in the field.

For today’s insights, we turned to Joanna Chango-James, Phd., a psychologist and leadership consultant who helps women maximize their potential in the workplace. Here’s what she had to say.

Topics: Interviews
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Who’s getting Amazon’s new HQ? Here are our predictions.

By Irena Ashcraft on Oct 4, 2017

amazon hq2-320x213.jpgLast month, we got the big news: Amazon’s scoping out a second headquarters that could bring $5 billion in new construction and up to 50,000 new jobs.

Since then, cities have been fervently vying for the chance to land “Amazon HQ2,” submitting their bids ahead of the October 19th deadline set by the company.

So what’s in it for cities willing to offer up tax incentives, relocation subsidies, donated land, and more—like renaming themselves Amazon? If the past is any indicator, Amazon HQ2 could be a success story similar to Seattle’s, where the company has generated an estimated $38 billion in indirect investment between 2010 and 2016.

Could your city be the lucky one to land HQ2? Let’s take a look at who’s got the best shot, who’s in the running, and who may ultimately win.

Topics: Industry News
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3 types of prospects that should be on your call list

By Russ Duncan on Oct 3, 2017

man-suit-tie-phone-320x256.jpgThe value of your services as a commercial real estate broker lies largely in your relationships—and by extension, the database that keeps them organized. To make meaningful connections with the important people in your market, you have to know who they are, their portfolios, their networks, their past behavior, etc. You have to be an expert on your market and all the properties and people in play.

There is so much information to track, and while there are a lot of data services out there to help you get started, they’re all imperfect. You have to gather and maintain your own data if you want to succeed.

The good news is if you’re diligent about building your database and keeping it up to date, it can pay huge dividends.

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18 apps that should integrate seamlessly with your CRM

By The Apto Team on Oct 2, 2017

Real-Estate-Technology-090383-320x227.jpgWhen writing about broker productivity and management, we sometimes use the term “tech stack,” which refers to a set of tools that helps you do the core parts of your job. That includes a system for customer relationship management, prospecting, marketing, etc.

It can be overwhelming to evaluate and optimize for each process, and we do urge you to keep it as simple as possible. There are many products out there that can cover a lot of bases at once. And those core products often can and should integrate with easy-to-use apps and other tools to keep your workflow centralized.

Apto, for example, gives you access to thousands of business apps from the Salesforce AppExchange. Here are 18 of the most popular broken down by category.

Request a demo of Apto today 

Topics: CRE Tech
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[Video] Take a quick look at our new tool, Prospect & Nurture

By Russ Duncan on Sep 28, 2017

As a broker, your relationships are the core of your business. Your CRM handles the organization of these relationships, but leaves something to be desired when it comes to taking action.

Apto Prospect & Nurture has reoriented the broker experience on the actions needed to build relationships and grow your business.

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How the top 10 U.S. office markets ended Q2

By Erik Dolan-Del Vecchio on Sep 26, 2017

Midtown_Manhattan_and_Times_Square_district_2015-773221-320x213.jpgU.S. office markets stayed strong over the course of Q2. That’s according to Colliers International’s Top Office Metros Snapshot, which said most major markets are in position to keep the momentum going into next quarter.

While six top markets experienced negligible changes in rent, rents advanced in four and absorption rose in six. Despite solid results during the quarter, Colliers said the combination of tenant downsizing and new supply is likely to increase vacancy rates down the road. From Manhattan to Seattle, here’s how the nation’s top office markets finished Q2.

Topics: Industry News
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Notes from the field: 4 tips to survive your first year as a broker

By Irena Ashcraft on Sep 25, 2017

male-broker-laptop (320x212).jpegIt’s a tough world out there, especially for new CRE brokers. You’ve got to build up a business from scratch, hear “no” about a thousand times before you ever get a “yes,” and live without a payday for what feels like forever. It’s why so many brokers don’t make it past that first crucial year.

But the brokers who do are a special bunch: they’ve been there, done that, and have the battle-tested insights to prove it. Recently, we turned to them for the #1 survival tip they’d give to newbie brokers. We asked what they wished someone had told them when they were starting out, and here’s what they had to say:

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5 tools to keep you productive from virtually anywhere

By The Apto Team on Sep 21, 2017

Lightning and Apto Mobile App-320x240.pngThese days, being tech savvy isn’t just convenient—it’s practically required. Cloud technology has revolutionized the way we do business, especially in commercial real estate. No longer are brokers expected to travel with paper files in the trunk of their car. Now they have access to all of their documents, contacts, and spreadsheet information on their phone.

The good news is that technology is becoming more and more intuitive and easy to adopt. Here are 5 tools that all CRE professionals need to always have on hand.

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6 bad sales habits to quit right now

By Nell Gable on Sep 20, 2017

man-suit-hands-folded-320x206.jpgIt’s no secret: salespeople, and real estate sales people in particular, often get a bad rap.

For many, it’s deserved. We’ve all been harassed by a persistent telemarketer or an overly-eager junior sales rep who just didn’t know when to quit. Of course, for every obnoxious account executive, there’s an experienced professional who has dedicated their life to learning good salesmanship.

But even the most skilled seller can revert to bad habits from time to time.

Maybe you rely a little too heavily on email templates or maybe you’ve gotten in the habit of interrupting clients when speaking, but it’s never a bad idea to take a quick inventory of your habits and cull out the bad ones.

Here are some to start with.

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8 of the tallest buildings currently under construction

By Erik Dolan-Del Vecchio on Sep 19, 2017

Cities are getting taller. Skylines are growing as developers and architects push the limits, yet when it comes to height, the world is not advancing at an equal pace.

Topics: Industry News
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CCIM, SIOR, and beyond: The broker’s guide to certifications and professional associations

By Nell Gable on Sep 18, 2017

ccim-pin-288674-edited.jpgAs a commercial real estate professional, the majority of your learning likely happens on the job through direct experience, or with colleagues and mentors.

But if you’re looking to continue your education and become a better broker, you might want to consider joining a professional organization or even taking a course or two. If you’re up for a challenge, then you can seek out a certification such as CCIM or SIOR.

To help you make the decision, we’ll take you through the pros and cons of professional associations and certifications—then help you evaluate some of your options.

Topics: Industry News
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Why CRE needs more women—and what we can do about it

By Irena Ashcraft on Sep 14, 2017

Are-times-changing-for-women-in-real-estate-998045-edited.jpgHow many female brokers do you know?

While you may be able to name a few who’ve done remarkably well—women like Heidi Burkhart, for example—they’re getting harder and harder to find. In the past decade, there’s been a 10% decline in the number of female CRE brokers, according to a study by the CREW Network (PDF).

That loss is troubling, especially given how few women are in the industry to start with. According to NAIOP’s 2013  Commercial Real Estate Diversity Report (PDF), there are:

  • 14.1% women at the executive level*
  • 21.5% women at the mid level
  • 29.5% women at the professional level
  • 79.2% women at the clerical level

That’s a shame: these numbers don’t just reflect a loss of female talent at the higher levels, they reflect a massive loss of potential.

Topics: Industry News
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New ebook: 9 Ways to Build (And Maintain) Strong Rapport With Anyone

By Elizabeth Knight on Sep 13, 2017

APTO_9 tricks-cover (1).pngAs a commercial real estate broker, your business depends on strong relationships. Whether it’s with a prospect, client, architect, lender, developer, or admin, building a strong rapport with that person is essential to a successful business (and a happy life, for that matter).

And it’s easy enough to befriend people you get along with, but what about those who challenge or annoy you? Creating rapport with those people is arguably even more important.

Rather than succumb to your frustration, you can use relationship-building techniques to make a friend out of just about anyone. Whether you’re trying to win over a new client, strengthen an existing relationship or turn an adversary into a friend, the techniques in this ebook will help you build strong, lasting bonds.

Here’s a preview:

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Office overbuilding: Will it be a problem over the next two years?

By Erik Dolan-Del Vecchio on Sep 12, 2017

buildings-landscape-320x213.jpgThe U.S. economy experienced soaring equity markets, growing consumer and business confidence and steady job creation over the last six months. While that’s certainly nothing to complain about, experts are increasingly wondering if recent economic success combined with shifting dynamics in the labor market puts office markets at risk of overbuilding.

Cushman & Wakefield published office forecasts for more than 100 global cities to judge the risk of overbuilding. From saturated top markets to booming secondary markets, developers, and investors alike face risk and opportunity over the next two years.

Topics: Industry News
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Coworking isn’t just for startups. Here’s what brokers should know.

By Erik Dolan-Del Vecchio on Sep 11, 2017

4.-Galvanize-Gather-Lobby1-1.jpgWeWork began attracting large companies to its desks in May of last year. Now, those companies represent its fastest-growing business.

Large companies increasingly value maintaining a number of coworking desks for added flexibility, networking opportunities, and, if for nothing else, to keep an eye on startups. From WeWork’s changing customer base to an increased focus on amenities, evolving trends in the marketplace position the office sector for another wave of disruption.

Topics: Industry News
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Is your marketing falling short? Ask yourself these 12 questions to troubleshoot.

By Irena Ashcraft on Sep 7, 2017

Marketing-and-showings-1.pngThe following is an excerpt from our ebook, The Ultimate Guide to Marketing Your Listings. Read the below and then download the rest for a simple but powerful marketing blueprint designed to help you get deals done quickly.

Let’s say you’ve won an exclusive rep agreement and you’ve started marketing the listing. Everything is in motion, but for some reason, you’re not getting a great response. If that’s the case, there may be some glitches in your marketing. For example:

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10 examples of stellar office design in 2017

By Nell Gable on Sep 6, 2017

Since the dawn of the coworking boom, many have predicted the end of the traditional office as we know it.

But while cubicles and cramped offices with dingy overhead lighting may be on their way out, the office itself is alive and well, thanks in part to the creativity of top office design firms.

Companies have started to recognize that employees do their best work in spaces built for creativity, and design firms like HDG, Rapt Studio, and Nelson have stepped up to meet this demand.

It’s not just trendy startups jumping on the office space design trend—from Teach For America to Mattress Firm, organizations of all different types are sprucing up their digs to nurture and compete for the best talent.

We’ve selected some of our favorites:

Topics: Industry News
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Trend alert: Why WeWork and others are betting on co-living

By Irena Ashcraft on Sep 5, 2017

co-living-698088-320x213.jpgWhen WeWork first entered the co-working space in 2010, established real estate giants had little to worry about from their scrappy, young competitor.

That was seven years ago. Today, WeWork is valued at $20 billion and winning over major corporate clients like IBM, Spotify, and Salesforce. They're disrupting the office sector and giving titans like JLL and CBRE a good reason to be nervous.

Could their next big venture, co-living, disrupt the multifamily sector?

Topics: Industry News
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Summer is (almost) over. Take these 7 steps to reset and finish the year strong.

By Nell Gable on Aug 31, 2017

summer-table-umbrella-250x271.jpgWe’re over halfway through 2017, and as we head into Labor Day weekend, summer is drawing to a close. It’s time to take a pause, evaluate how things have gone so far, and plan for a successful close to the calendar year.

It’s easy to get caught up in the day-to-day pace of work and life. And often, when forced to choose between an easy task and one that requires deep, critical thinking, we choose the one that we can cross off our to-do the fastest. This can lead your priorities askew and cause you to stray from your goals.

That’s why it’s important to carve out time in your schedule for the tough stuff—the deep thinking that guides those day-to-day activities in the right direction. Here are some tips for ensuring strategic thinking doesn’t fall by the wayside so you can crush the remainder of 2017.

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6 ways to generate more referrals

By Irena Ashcraft on Aug 30, 2017

man-shaking-hands-contract-198711-edited.jpgReferrals are an amazing way to pick up new business, but you don’t have to sit around waiting for them to happen! Asking for referrals should be an automatic part of your process, just like following up with contacts or prospecting for new leads.

Consider this: People referred to you by your loyal clients are 37% more likely to stick around, according to Deloitte. But without those referrals, you’re missing out on valuable opportunities, since word of mouth can influence 20-50% of all purchasing decisions.

It’s clear that referrals are a valuable source of new business. Here’s how you can get even more of them:

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The 4 craziest prospecting stories you told us

By The Apto Team on Aug 29, 2017

crazy-swirls-882724-300x250.jpgThere are plenty of blog posts out there with tips to cold call, network, persuade, etc. In other words, there are plenty of prospecting tactics, but sometimes it’s helpful to remember that at the end of the day, it’s just two people making a connection in occasionally random ways.

We recently solicited your most surprising prospecting stories, and are pleased to share four experiences. 

Here are the craziest, funniest, most random broker prospecting stories we could find, filled with crazy characters, mysterious LLCs, celebrities, and an introduction in Antarctica.

Topics: Interviews
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Senior housing market update: Overbuilding, market saturation, and the year it will all tip

By Erik Dolan-Del Vecchio on Aug 28, 2017

senior-housing-385167-edited.pngSenior housing market valuations peaked at the end of 2015, but since descending from that high investors have struggled to agree on the sectors future. While Millennials overtook Baby Boomers as Americas largest generation last year, Baby Boomers remain an enormous generation and number some 76 million individuals. Many of those people are approaching ages where they are more likely to use senior housing services, and that demographic shift promises to accelerate demand in the senior housing industry.

But the story isnt that simple. The sector is experiencing headwinds as critical markets become overbuilt, yet experts dont agree on the severity or scope of the problem. While short-term and long-term prospects in the sector differ, investors who understand the evolving dynamics at play are well positioned to take advantage of market opportunities.

Topics: Industry News
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7 ways to use LinkedIn Sales Navigator to prospect better

By Irena Ashcraft on Aug 24, 2017

sales-navigator-091179-320x135.jpgHave you tried LinkedIn’s Sales Navigator tool yet? It can shortcut the process of finding qualified leads and lets you play with a treasure trove of user data so that you can unearth prospects based on everything from zip code to common interests—which is far more than you can do with the regular search function.

Here are a few ways the Sales Navigator can help you prospect:

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A step-by-step guide to nailing your elevator pitch

By Nell Gable on Aug 23, 2017

broker-shaking-hands-224097-edited.jpgWe’ve all been told to have our elevator pitch ready. After all, you never know when you’ll bump into the CEO of the company, or a major investor who just happens to be looking for new representation.

But how many of us really have something to say, besides the dry facts of what we do? We hate to say it, but no one really cares that you’re a tenant rep broker servicing the greater Seattle area…

That’s because there are many other commercial real estate professionals just like you, and simply saying what it is you do, rather than who you are and why you do what you do, doesn’t set you apart and it certainly doesn’t get you remembered.

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Know your stuff, show your stuff. Your next deal depends on it.

By Russ Duncan on Aug 22, 2017

broker_on_motorcycle-432428-edited.jpegA few years ago, my Honda Civic finally kicked the bucket and it was time yet again to go new car shopping. Some dread the task, but I was excited to put my years of reading Motortrend to work. I headed into the dealership armed with facts and figures, as well as the various opinions of automotive journalists in case the conversation got serious.

A sales guy started chatting me up right away so I threw him some softball question. I was looking to connect―all he had to do was react to what I said and display some semblance of knowledge. He didn’t do either of those things. He just sort of nodded and then started talking about the car in question and various “facts” that I was able to sniff out as falsehoods immediately.

I was out of there. He was out of a sale.

I hope you haven’t done this, or I hope you’ve only done it once. Once is all it takes to learn how important it is to know your product and your customer, and to have all that information on hand when it’s time to connect. Being able to have a smart, meaningful conversation is the key to being an effective salesperson.

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What to know about the 3 disruptive technologies gunning for your job

By Erik Dolan-Del Vecchio on Aug 21, 2017

upside down city-320x213.jpegFrom cashiers to car washes, weve watched technology reshape industries and eliminate jobs through increased automation.

While many of us may have thought more complex roles and industries would remain sheltered from increasingly advanced technology, a recent report by Remit Consulting said 88% of the core tasks performed by real estate service firms are ripe for technological takeover.

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The broker's guide to better business writing

By Nell Gable on Aug 17, 2017

man with pen and paper-619268-edited.jpegIn business, first impressions are often made not with a handshake, but with an email. And the message we send with the quality and clarity of our writing often speaks louder than the content itself.

When was the last time you thought about your skill as a writer? If you’re answer is, "Not since high school English class,” then this post is for you. From crafting a tweet to sending a follow-up email, you will constantly be judged on your writing.

Keep reading for some of our favorite tips for better business writing:

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7 ways to master the ‘invisible agenda’ at your next conference

By Irena Ashcraft on Aug 16, 2017

black-and-white-city-man-people-761171-edited.jpgHow will you prepare for the upcoming fall conference season? Even if you love the spontaneity of chatting up a new contact in the lunch line or comparing notes with the person next to you at the panel discussion, planning ahead can pay off in far more high-quality opportunities.

Here’s the secret: at every conference, there’s always the official agenda and the “invisible agenda,” the one you won’t find on the website. It encompasses all the informal handshakes and conversations between sessions, as well as pre-arranged meetings and even a few “spontaneous” get-togethers. You could go through an entire conference and never notice this invisible agenda unfolding all around you. Or you could be the one who sets it.

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[Free ebook] The Broker's Guide to More Efficient Prospecting

By The Apto Team on Aug 15, 2017

APTO_brokers guide prospecting-cover.pngIf we were telling you about a beginner’s guide to prospecting in commercial real estate, we would talk about networking and canvassing. There would be advice about how to talk to people everywhere, all the time. You’d find tips for cold calling and email outreach, and guidance on scheduling and tracking your efforts.

But this ebook isn’t a beginner’s guide. This is for brokers who are past the struggles of the early years, where organization is still a work in progress. This is for brokers who are ready to build a scalable process that ensures their pipeline stays full and the paychecks keep coming. We assume that you have centralized technology and a CRM, not just a collection of Excel spreadsheets. (If not, start with A Practical Guide to CRM for Commercial Real Estate).

And we’re going to be honest—to become an expert, you need to put in the work. There are ways to be more efficient, but there are no true shortcuts. To make more money, you need to invest in technology and take the time to implement better processes. But it’s worth it.

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6 commercial real estate podcasts you should be following

By Erik Dolan-Del Vecchio on Aug 14, 2017

Commercial real estate is an evolving industry, and to stay ahead of the competition, it’s essential to stay on top of developing trends and market dynamics. While taking a class is a great way to learn new material, classes are expensive and most people in the industry are time-strapped enough as it is. Whether you’re on your commute or at the gym, following the right podcasts is one of the most convenient ways to keep up.

Topics: Industry News
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4 brands getting experiential retail right

By The Apto Team on Aug 10, 2017

Iexperiential retail-687852-edited.jpgt’s no secret that brick and mortar retailers are switching things up in an attempt to stay relevant. Companies of all shapes and sizes are feeling the heat from Amazon and the general shift in consumer preferences.

To be more specific, consumers are becoming are less and less interested in things. They want experiences, even in their shopping routines. Hence the idea of “experiential retail,” an attempt to create a well-rounded or interesting experience for shoppers outside of just the purchase of goods. If done right, these experiences keep people in the store longer and are also highly shareable on social media.

Here are four retailers who are doing it right:

Topics: Industry News
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11 things to outsource on Fiverr—from the helpful to the absurd

By Nell Gable on Aug 9, 2017

fiverr-logo-green-42ceb28536932bff125c8d478bec1c56.svgAs a commercial real estate professional, your workday rarely ends at 5pm. Somedays, the real work may not even begin until then, or you might just be working round-the-clock—ready to take a client call at any moment.

That’s why the way you choose to spend your time matters. You don’t get paid to sit behind a desk, you get paid when you produce. So how do you ensure your time is being spent working on deals and not on useless paperwork?

Topics: Efficiency
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Do you spend enough time following up?

By Irena Ashcraft on Aug 8, 2017

Cold_Calling_Apto_Best_Practices-320x213.jpgYou may already know that most brokers don’t spend nearly enough time prospecting—and we’re willing to bet that fewer spend time actively monitoring and following up on those leads.

But not following up or keeping in touch is like ordering a mouthwatering burger and then walking away from the table when it arrives. You can smell how good it’s going to taste, but you never actually take that first bite. The same goes for prospecting: you can almost smell how good that deal’s going to be if it materializes. But if you don’t follow up, you are literally leaving an opportunity on the table!

By now, you should have a consistent prospecting strategy. Next, make sure you’re finishing the job by following up strategically. Here’s how to do it:

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7 essential books for commercial real estate professionals

By Erik Dolan-Del Vecchio on Aug 7, 2017

Millionare Real Estate Agent 320x422.jpgFrom maximizing time to using the latest technology to unlock business opportunities, the most successful commercial real estate professionals are always hungry to learn. Reading the right books is one of the best and easiest ways to learn, and its far cheaper than taking classes.

There are thousands of real estate books out there, so to help thin the herd, we put together a list of true essentials. Whether you are a seasoned veteran or are entering the commercial real estate world for the first time, reading these books will make you better.

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Are you prospecting enough?

By Irena Ashcraft on Aug 3, 2017

luca-bravo-207676.jpgProspecting is to a broker what free throws are to an NBA star, or what the gas pedal is to a race car driver. Simply put: it’s the foundation of your success.

And yet, the Massimo Blog revealed that over 80% of respondents in a national survey prospected only sporadically or when they could. What’s more, 7% of these respondents suggested that they do not prospect at all.

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Women in CRE tech: 3 questions with our Director of People Ops

By Colleen McGarity on Aug 2, 2017

Colleen.jpgWe recently interviewed Heidi Burkhart, president and owner of New York brokerage firm Dane Real Estate, on how she’s succeeded in commercial real estate, a historically male-dominated industry. And with recent news about gender discrimination and harassment running rampant in Silicon Valley and beyond, this got me thinking about similar challenges we face in the technology industry with gender diversity (and diversity in general).  

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3 products to help you prospect, get paid, and be productive anywhere

By The Apto Team on Aug 1, 2017

f982c382-9f71-4ec5-a4cb-61989ca0e45a-1.pngHopefully you read this blog because you trust us to provide important industry news, best practices, and other tips and trends. But we’d remiss if we didn’t occasionally tell you what’s new at Apto. And there’s been a lot this year! We’ve been hard at work in our effort to bring you more features and products that will make your life as a commercial real estate broker much easier.

Topics: CRE Tech
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Strong job creation drives demand for commercial real estate

By Erik Dolan-Del Vecchio on Jul 31, 2017

charlotte-ljones-188983.jpgFor better or worse, the commercial real estate industry is fundamentally tied to the strength of the U.S. economy. In June the labor market created more jobs than expected, and while wage growth lagged, those new jobs will drive demand across the industry.

All sectors stand to benefit from increased job creation, but the office sector could gain the most — those new hires need somewhere to work, after all. At the same time, the multifamily market is heating up. That’s good news for owners but bad news for tenants, many of whom are struggling in tight markets plagued by a lack of affordable housing.

Topics: Industry News
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WeWork who? 8 Multi-location coworking spaces brokers should know

By Nell Gable on Jul 27, 2017

nastuh-abootalebi-284882.jpgWeWork might be the poster child of the coworking movement, but it’s not the only option getting the attention of burgeoning entrepreneurs and established businesses alike.

Since WeWork opened the doors of its first NYC location in 2010, thousands of coworking operators have set out in search of similar success. Deskmag estimates there are 14,000 coworking spaces operating worldwide, with over 1.2 million people having worked in one of the spaces at some time.

Topics: Industry News
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What brokers can learn from James Bond

By Irena Ashcraft on Jul 26, 2017

Ever fantasize about being James Bond? Maybe Jason Bourne? Spies and brokers have more in common than you think. After all, spies spend their time navigating high-stakes environments, uncovering hidden opportunities, and building valuable relationships. Just like the brokers we know.

Today, we’re having a bit of fun and channeling our favorite Hollywood spies to reveal how you, a broker, can cultivate — ehem—“a very particular set of skills.” Whether you’re digging up intel on other people’s deals or going stealth for some undercover sleuthing, the following information is for your eyes only.

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5 (and a half) steps to a better cold-calling strategy

By Nell Gable on Jul 25, 2017

aaron-burden-149693.jpgThe average blog post on improving cold calling results will advise you to set time aside, stick to your routine, beef up on your basic sales skills, etc.

While these activities certainly won’t hurt, the reality is, this is really the least you should be doing.

If you were in school, this sort of mentality would equate to showing up for class and simply completing the homework on time, earning you a B average. (Emphasis on average.)

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Beyond Amazon and Whole Foods: What’s next for the grocery sector?

By Erik Dolan-Del Vecchio on Jul 24, 2017

raquel-martinez-96648.jpgAmazons pending $13.7B acquisition of Whole Foods Market is bound to disrupt the grocery sector, yet the deal is not the only thing changing the $5.3 trillion dollar industry.

To understand what the industrys change means for commercial real estate, its essential to examine both the Amazon deal and other shifting dynamics, including the growth of online shopping and expanding discount grocers. From Amazon to evolving customer habits, the grocery sector is experiencing unprecedented levels of disruption.

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Brokers: Are you implementing these 5 content marketing best practices?

By The Apto Team on Jul 20, 2017

photo-1460324558840-8df3143cd908 (1).jpegAs a commercial real estate broker, you know how challenging it can be to market both yourself and your properties. There are more channels to communicate than ever before, yet it’s often harder to connect with the people most likely to do business with you.

Marketing has evolved over the years, and now the idea of “content marketing” is central to any strategy. Content marketing means “creating, publishing, and distributing content for your target audience -- usually online -- the goal of which is to attract new customers.” Essentially, information created by you is distributed to your target audience to provide value to them. It works by boosting your website in search engines and creating a brand of verifiable expertise.

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Product update: Take a look at Apto Prospect & Nurture

By Russ Duncan on Jul 19, 2017

Cold calling isn't fun. (Unless you’re one of those super intensely enthusiastic people who loves talking and doesn’t mind rejection.)

But prospecting for new clients—and keeping up with old ones—is vital to your business. It’s important to any business, but especially old-school sales industries like commercial real estate.

That’s why we wanted to make it much easier. New business outreach should be as simple as possible. Brokers need to be able to churn through high-value contacts quickly, and with the context they need in the moment to look smart and make a connection.

All this to say, we’re thrilled to introduce you to our latest product feature, Apto Prospect & Nurture.

Get a demo

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What to know about the clean energy initiative that could save your clients serious money

By Nell Gable on Jul 18, 2017

Green buildings and initiatives sometimes have a hard time getting off the ground. Many property owners, especially those in the mid-capital commercial market, don’t expect to see the necessary ROI to invest in green building projects, given that the cost savings would typically be passed onto tenants in the form of lower bills.

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In the future, everything’s possible: Here’s what that means for CRE

By Irena Ashcraft on Jul 17, 2017

will-van-wingerden-87463.jpgBefore digital spreadsheets, it would take a bookkeeper an entire day to calculate the impact of changing a single business variable. When VisiCalc appeared on the market in 1979, suddenly people could get those calculations instantly.

That was a huge leap, and it ushered in the spreadsheet era. You might remember using spreadsheets to keep track of clients, deals, and prospects. Fast forward to today: modern CRM systems are making it even easier to use that data, slashing time wasted and giving you a big bump in productivity.

Topics: CRE Tech
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Human workplaces are replacing the traditional office

By Erik Dolan-Del Vecchio on Jul 13, 2017

dan-gold-220226.jpgWorkplaces are undergoing a metamorphosis. Open offices have replaced cubicles at the worlds most successful companies and startups like WeWork have grown enormously, pioneering the coworking revolution. To better understand the trend, JLLs new global studyWorkplace Powered by Human Experiencesurveyed workers globally to see how companies are reimagining workplaces to achieve strategic performance objectives. 

Topics: Industry News
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Want to make success automatic? Tweak your habits.

By Irena Ashcraft on Jul 12, 2017

ruthson-zimmerman-233522.jpgBack in 2006, a Duke University researcher discovered that 40% of the things we do every day are pure habit. Whether it's brushing your teeth each morning or driving to work without really thinking about it, habits require very little mental energy and keep your days humming along smoothly.

But they’re also a powerful force at work, and how successful you are as a broker can come down to the invisible routines you follow. So are your habits working for or against you?

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Greatest hits: Take your CRE marketing game to the next level

By The Apto Team on Jul 11, 2017

desi-mendoza-451.jpgThe way we market commercial real estate properties, brokerages and our personal brands is changing. Gone are the days of sending out a few flyers and waiting for the phone to ring.

There are many new strategies and factors to take into account as you consider your marketing plan. Catch up with this list of our most popular CRE marketing resources.

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Expert perspective: 5 articles from Apto founder and CEO Tanner McGraw

By The Apto Team on Jul 10, 2017

Lightbulbs-2.jpgOur founder and CEO worked in commercial real estate brokerage for a decade before starting Apto. With background in brokerage and tech, he has a unique perspective to offer on the industry and where it’s headed.

Here are five of his most popular articles.

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6 ways to build (and maintain) a strong rapport with anyone

By Nell Gable on Jul 6, 2017

rawpixel-com-274860.jpgBuilding a strong rapport with clients, colleagues and friends is essential to leading a successful and meaningful life. After all, people want to do business with people they like!

But creating rapport with those who challenge you might be even more important.

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The quick and dirty guide to creating the perfect pitch deck on the fly (part 2)

By Nell Gable on Jul 5, 2017

broker suitcase.jpegA few weeks ago we brought you part one of our series on creating the perfect pitch deck. Once you've mastered those tips and tricks—which cover technology, organization, and strategy—you can delve into these extra steps that will truly set you apart from the competition.

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New feature alert: Apto Mobile now with Listings

By Christian Bellofatto on Jun 29, 2017

listings.pngA few months ago, we made it easier for our customers to take their brokerage platform with them anywhere. Apto Mobile was designed to optimize the tasks commercial real estate brokers need to complete when they’re away from their desks—giving them their to-do list, properties, and contact information.

Now, brokers can access listings on the go, as well.

How it works

Let's say you get a call when you're out in the field: one of your contacts has some questions about one of your many active listings. She wants to know the price per square foot, which you can't recall off the top of your head. Instead of telling her you'll get back to her, you look it up quickly in Apto Mobile and have the answer immediately. Then you can log the call right from the listing for easy reference and reporting later.

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Listen up, brokers: 4 advanced listening skills that set you apart

By Irena Ashcraft on Jun 28, 2017

henry-be-228194.jpgGreat salespeople are great listeners—and this is especially true of brokers. The ones who can tune in to a client’s true needs (sometimes unspoken), bounce ideas around, and make smart suggestions are the ones who ultimately close more deals.

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Q&A: Andrew Benioff, Founder of Llenrock Group and PREC, on networking and collaboration in CRE

By Nell Gable on Jun 27, 2017

Abenioff.jpg2 (1).jpgLike many founders, Andrew Benioff was simply building the solution he himself was looking for when he started the Philadelphia Real Estate Council. The real estate think tank focuses specifically on the Mid-Atlantic region and is comprised of an exclusive group of CEO's, principals, and CRE influencers who meet quarterly to collaborate and discuss the latest trends affecting commercial real estate.

Here, Andrew shares why he thinks this type of collaboration is so essential in the commercial real estate community, and how building a strong network set him up for success.

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Win more business with these 4 powerful persuasion techniques

By Irena Ashcraft on Jun 26, 2017

benjamin-child-17946.jpgAs a broker, you spend most of your time trying to get people to say “yes” to you—so what if you could get more “yes’s” with almost no additional effort? Today, we’re sharing four simple but powerful persuasion techniques that can have huge payoffs:

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A better way to predict future technology

By Franco Faraudo on Jun 22, 2017

Apto Modern Office_Slides_7.jpgWhen trying to predict the future, humans often fall victim to two common cognitive biases: availability and anchoring. In other words, the factors they take into account skew heavily toward recent events and other people's opinions, respectively. 

The way around it? Think of crazy future scenarios and then imagine how they might come to pass. (More about all that here.)

Topics: CRE Tech
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The best career advice these 6 brokers ever received

By Nell Gable on Jun 21, 2017

rawpixel-com-250087.jpg“Many receive advice, only the wise profit from it.” — Harper Lee

Good advice has the power to change your life.

Whether consciously or not, we’ve all been shaped by the advice of others at some point. Maybe you listened to a coach who took a special interest in your upbringing, or maybe it’s the words of a parent you still find rattling around your head as you navigate difficult career or personal decisions.

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Looking where others don't: An interview with Noah Birk, Kiser Group

By Irena Ashcraft on Jun 20, 2017

fineas-anton-105656.jpgWhen everyone else zigs, you should zag—or so goes the old saying. This month, we spoke to one Chicago-based broker, Noah Birk, who's proving just how successful that strategy can be.

Birk, the managing director at Kiser Group, has rapidly grown his book of business by focusing on an area of the city that many people overlook. He started in the CRE industry nearly seven years ago, as a college graduate, and found success by focusing on the disposition of apartment buildings on Chicago’s South Side. Today, he’s the area’s most active broker.

We asked Birk how he got to where he is today, and here’s what he had to say.

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Changing retail markets are forcing landlords to get creative

By Erik Dolan-Del Vecchio on Jun 19, 2017

brad-fickeisen-172961.jpgThe retail sector is struggling as e-commerce continues its breakneck growth and consumer trends shift. Brick-and-mortar retailers are closing shops and going bankrupt at record levels, which leaves many landlords left managing empty space and losing money.

But instead of sitting idle, retail landlords are acting creatively to overcome market weakness. From finding ways to monetize unused space to rethinking their tenant mix, landlords are taking steps to adapt and profit in todays uncertain environment.

Topics: Industry News
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6 times you knew you needed a better CRM but ignored the signs

By The Apto Team on Jun 15, 2017

photo-1459233313842-cd392ee2c388.jpegWhen it comes to the systems we use regularly, we may see the signs that we need to upgrade or change our ways, but we often ignore them. Because let’s face it, it’s easier to keep doing what we’re doing.

This is especially true for CRM systems and the processes you use to run your brokerage.

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Women in CRE: 7 Lessons Learned from Heidi Burkhart, Dane Real Estate

By Irena Ashcraft on Jun 14, 2017

Heidi Burkhart Corporate v.2.jpgCommercial real estate may still be dominated by men, but that never stopped some of the industry’s top women from finding success. This month, we spoke to one such leading lady: Ms. Heidi Burkhart, president and owner of New York brokerage firm Dane Real Estate.

Burkhart started the company in 2008, at the age of 26. Today, she’s a leader in affordable housing brokerage as well as an emerging developer in the region.

We caught up with her to find out how she did it, from meeting the right mentors to hustling ’til it hurts. Here’s what we learned:

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Be a better broker—in two minutes

By The Apto Team on Jun 13, 2017

Want to improve your prospect-to-client conversion rates? Build momentum and rapport at your first meeting with a new client? Learn the details of a property inside and out?

We've got you covered. The Best Practice Video Library provides proven strategies for running a successful commercial real estate brokerage—and shows you how Apto can help. 

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The quick and dirty guide to creating the perfect pitch deck on the fly (part 1)

By Nell Gable on Jun 12, 2017

kay-copeland-231077.jpgIn an ideal world, you’d always have at least a month to brainstorm, produce and practice presenting your incredibly polished pitch deck. But let’s be honest, that pretty much never happens.

Maybe you’ve identified a last-minute opportunity to pitch some capital investors on a real estate project, or maybe you’re trying to land a new client before your competition beats you to the punch. Or, maybe you’ve just been procrastinating — we won’t judge! 

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Don't forget to put these 6 fall conferences on your calendar

By The Apto Team on Jun 8, 2017

 mikael-kristenson-242070.jpgThe first half of the year is almost done and spring conference season is tapering off. Did you make it to any events? They’re a great opportunity to learn and network, not to mention pick your head up from the daily grind and get a shot of inspiration.

If you missed out on any events this spring, it’s not too late to turn it around the second half of the year. Sign up for these fall conferences now.

Topics: Industry News
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WeWork’s evolution could keep disrupting office markets

By Erik Dolan-Del Vecchio on Jun 7, 2017

breather-181290.jpgWeWork has been disrupting the office sector for the last seven years. Now, the company is moving to take on industry giants like JLL and CBRE through a new business that directly targets large, corporate clients. The company also launched its own real estate investment arm and has plans to drastically increase its real estate footprint this year. 

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Why technology 'sprawl' might actually be making us less productive

By Nell Gable on Jun 6, 2017

adam-sherez-228582.jpgWe all have one — that co-worker that always has the scoop on the next productivity tool or app that they swear will change your life by saving you tons of time.

As a result, you have dozens of tools and apps downloaded on your device, all designed to make you more productive and efficient.

But with what we know about the detrimental effects of multitasking, are all these tools really saving us any time? Or, are they doing just the opposite?

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Brokers, your data is siloed and you don’t even know it

By Tanner McGraw on Jun 5, 2017

This article originally appeared in Real Estate Tech News. 

jerry-bernard-142866.jpgYou’ve got client info in an Excel doc, prospecting ideas in an email and market research in a company-owned database. Each one of those is a data source, whether or not you think of them in those terms. And if they were all connected in the same system, it would make your life a lot easier.

Taking a holistic view of the information at your disposal will make you and your entire brokerage team more organized, more efficient and better able to draw insights you might have missed otherwise. Those insights can give you a better view of the market, allowing you to provide more value to your clients and giving you an edge over the competition.

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5 issues that scare off commercial tenants

By Nell Gable on Jun 1, 2017

photo-1455539784245-e92a1368b18d.jpegAs a commercial real estate broker, you’ve mastered what is truly a complicated industry.

Your client? Not so much.

For entrepreneurs looking for space to house their business, the commercial real estate industry can be an incredibly daunting one to navigate. From confusing language and endless acronyms (NOI, BOV, NNN, etc) to aggressive landlords, you really can’t blame the average business owner for being a bit apprehensive.

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What a successful CRE technology implementation looks like

By Lauren Hinson on May 31, 2017

helloquence-61189-1.jpg

Implementing a new commercial real estate (CRE) technology platform for your brokerage can seem like a daunting proposition. However, strategic planning and coordination with your CRE technology vendor can simplify the implementation and help you get the most out of your new platform right out of the gate.

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Want to know the guts of a CRE asset? Become a gofer

By Ian Ritter on May 30, 2017

gopher.jpgGetting schooled on a topic you’ve spent years trying to master is no easy thing.

In my case, having written about commercial real estate for around 15 years, you would think I’d know all the ins and outs of the industry by now. I consider myself pretty conscious of commercial real estate assets and spaces, both inside and out.

At least, I thought I was, until I started taking on jobs as a gofer.

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Introducing Apto Commissions, a better way to get paid

By Russ Duncan on May 25, 2017

The tasks and processes surrounding the close of a commercial real estate transaction can leave much to be desired for all the parties involved. I’ve seen the documents and forms many brokers use to manage invoices and commission payments, and it’s not always pretty.

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7 ways to keep your brokerage team motivated

By Irena Ashcraft on May 24, 2017

There’s nothing quite as sweet as closing a big deal and cashing that commission check. In the world of CRE, each victory has a way of making you crave the next one. And for most brokers, an almost hardwired drive to succeed—coupled with those huge payouts—is often motivation enough.

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How to become a better communicator (and why your clients will love you for it)

By Nell Gable on May 23, 2017

As a commercial real estate professional, you take part in tough conversations all the time. From negotiating with landlords, to delivering not-so-great news to clients, to pitching new business — your communication style plays a huge part in your success or failure on a daily basis.

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3 productivity apps for CRE brokers in 2017

By The Apto Team on May 22, 2017

As a commercial real estate broker,  you have to ensure you’re making the best use of your time at any given moment. Productivity and efficiency are the name of the game. And with today’s technology, there are plenty of tools that can help you get more done both in the office and on the go.

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3 ways to prepare for ICSC RECon

By The Apto Team on May 18, 2017

Las Vegas.jpgICSC RECon, one of the biggest commercial real estate events of the year (if not THE biggest), is kicking off this Sunday, May 21 in Las Vegas. If you’re one of the thousands of CRE professionals heading there, you might want to check out a few articles to make sure you’re ready to take advantage of this unique event.

Topics: Industry News
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How to signal to brokerage leadership that you're ready for a promotion

By Nell Gable on May 17, 2017

bpe9hpn7nhq-pierrick-le-cunff (1).jpgCommercial real estate attracts those that thrive in a high-risk, high-reward setting. While most would scoff at the idea of going salary free for upwards of a year to get their business off the ground, CRE brokers are ready to dive in head first, confident that the initial investment will pay off in the future as they build a client base, learn a market and eventually start closing deals.

But there’s a lot that goes into succeeding in commercial real estate, even after that first year or two is done. Yes, there are a prescribed set of activities that most brokers follow in order to start closing deals, but this is entirely different from establishing and following a strategy.

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What's the formula for great teamwork?

By Irena Ashcraft on May 16, 2017

foosball2 (1).jpegA successful brokerage is only as good as the people behind it—and a lot of that success depends on how smoothly those people can work together as a team.

So what's the secret to great teamwork? Of course, experts have been pondering this question since the beginning of time. And, predictably, there are countless opinions on how to make teamwork happen—just stroll through the business section of your local bookstore!

But we wanted to know what our already successful clients thought about the topic. What helped their teams do their best work, and how did they respond to common challenges? So we reached out to Scott Hensley, Partner at Piedmont Properties/CORFAC International, and Lee Wheeler, President of Wheeler Commercial, to see what they had to say.

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23 conversation topics to help you look smart when prospecting

By Russ Duncan on May 15, 2017

Finding new contacts and building relationships is the lifeblood of a commercial real estate broker. You need to know exactly who your prospects are, and more importantly, what to say to pique their interest and gain their trust.

We've said it before and we'll say it again: to capture a prospect's attention and earn their respect, you need to be interesting, relevant and timely. You need to offer them information from the start to convince them that you know what you’re talking about.

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Throwback Thursday: 7 ways your life was different before modern CRM

By Irena Ashcraft on May 11, 2017

Lightning and Apto Mobile App-320x240.pngRemember the days of clunky car phones, cutting-edge pagers, the Spice Girls and slap tape? As the internet indulges its nostalgia for #tbt, we got to thinking about what life was like pre-Apto.

How many of these do you remember?

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Movie moments that will make you a better broker (Part 2)

By Irena Ashcraft on May 10, 2017

pixar up scene-320x184.jpgWhat can Hollywood teach you about being a better broker? Turns out, a lot. 

In part 1 of this series, we looked at 7 movie moments, each of which provided a lesson applicable to the commercial real estate world.

Kick back and enjoy these additional kernels of movie wisdom!

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No man is an island: Collaboration and caution in commercial real estate

By Tanner McGraw on May 9, 2017

broker-data-relationships-320x216.jpgThis article originally appeared in Realty Biz News.

Commercial real estate is a particularly competitive business, and since brokers make the bulk of their salary via commission, the decision on whether or not to share information is a weighty one. The industry isn’t exactly known for always being ethical or fair—many brokers have felt the sting of a colleague stealing what would have been a lucrative client.

Sometimes, though, sharing data paves the way for collaboration that ultimately generates more revenue for the broker and brokerage team. It can benefit the entire firm by allowing everyone to approach clients systematically, and with more information.

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A step-by-step guide to building a killer LinkedIn profile

By Nell Gable on May 8, 2017

LinkedIn-320x181.jpgNowadays, when someone mentions a new product or service, we’re typing the keywords into Google before they even finish their sentence. That’s why it’s essential to monitor and perfect our online presence, especially if we partake in social selling of any kind.

LinkedIn provides the best platform to tout your professional accomplishments. But with thousands of commercial real estate profiles out there, all using the same meaningless buzzwords (experienced, passionate, leadership, driven etc.), how can you really set yourself apart?

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Overheard in the boardroom

By Russ Duncan on May 4, 2017

boardroom-031786-edited.jpgOver the years, I’ve had the privilege of speaking with many brokers and brokerage leaders from across the country. These are brokers at the top of their game—they know their market, they have solid relationships with prospects and clients, and they know the secret to their success is hard work.

I wanted to take a moment to share some of the insights I’ve heard while sitting in boardrooms with these brokerage leaders. These little snippets of wisdom have always inspired me, so I’ve included some takeaways and additional resources for you as well.

“You can stand atop the roof of your listing and chances are you can see the building whose owner will likely be your buyer.”

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6 types of social media updates you should be posting each week

By Nell Gable on May 3, 2017

social_media_icons_large.pngMost of us have been using social media for years now — typically as a way of keeping in touch with friends and family, sharing news articles or just speaking our minds. Yet despite the popularity of social media sharing, relatively few commercial real estate brokers are truly maximizing the potential provided us by networks like Twitter, LinkedIn and Facebook.

That’s because for many, using social media for business growth is a bit overwhelming.

What content should I be posting?
How I often should I post?
Am I really even reaching the people I want to reach?

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Q&A: How one brokerage hires and manages rockstar brokers

By Nell Gable on May 2, 2017

broker_on_motorcycle-432428-edited-1.jpegWhen it comes to his team, Lee Kiser of Chicago-based Kiser Group doesn’t play by the old rules. He believes an industry shift in management style between firm leaders and the brokers they manage needs to take place, and he is leading by example with his hands-on approach to nurturing new talent.

Find out how Kiser Group doubled the size of their brokerage in a just a year by investing in training their people.

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4 great responses to tough negotiating tactics

By Irena Ashcraft on May 1, 2017

star wars-414088-edited.jpgWhen it comes to negotiating contracts, it’s not the details that will get you—it’s the people. After all, you know commercial real estate inside and out, and you could probably pinpoint a contract’s potential pitfalls or cost-savers in your sleep.

But the human side of negotiation? The part with the unpredictable emotions, egos, and unexpected demands? That isn’t quite as simple—especially when you’re facing a tough negotiator.

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[Slideshare] Your day in commercial real estate, 1997 vs. 2017

By Franco Faraudo on Apr 27, 2017

How have you noticed commercial real estate changing over the years? If you’ve been in brokerage long, you’ve probably noticed some new technology popping up—and your younger coworkers probably have some new habits and priorities, too.

If you get right down to it, there’s probably a lot in your day to day that’s different.

Earlier this year we published an infographic about that change, and since it’s been among our most popular content to date, we wanted to share the slides, too.

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Get visual: 7 ways for brokers to sell in a language everyone understands

By Irena Ashcraft on Apr 26, 2017

city-street-building-usa-320x212.jpgHumans are visual creatures, and we primarily think in pictures. So why not use this fundamental truth to your advantage by making your commercial real estate marketing more visual?

We’re not just talking about maps, which really are your secret weapon—we’re talking about videos, creative visualizations, dynamic presentations, fresh infographics, drones'-eye views— all of it. Here are seven strategies to make your property listings a visual grand slam:

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Why you should take regular walks around your city

By Nell Gable on Apr 25, 2017

Boston-MA-1-320x213.jpgNo, it’s not to exercise and get your steps in (though that’s a bonus benefit!).

Whatever your specialty, you can’t consider yourself a true commercial real estate expert until you’ve learned the ins and outs of your city or submarket. Location is everything, and there’s no excuse for not knowing what’s going on in the area you’re working.

In the age of technology and big data, though, some CRE professionals are taking shortcuts to gathering information on their local markets. But scouring Loopnet will never replace taking the time to truly learn the energy and feel of your chosen area.

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How to avoid one of the most common mistakes CRE brokers make

By Elizabeth Knight on Apr 24, 2017

The-5-Biggest-Mistakes-Brokers-Make-cover-2-1.pngThe commercial real estate industry has a high attrition rate. It’s an appealing career, but not everyone is cut out to make it as a broker.

More experienced brokers generally expect that at least half of new recruits will leave within three years, while some project the new broker failure rate to be as high as 90%.

The perks of the job are part of what make it challenging: autonomy, flexibility, a commission-based salary. Some people simply lack the skills and personality necessary to succeed, but other common pitfalls can be avoided.

Here’s one of the most biggest reasons new brokers fail.

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Update: How the CRE investment landscape is shaping up in 2017

By The Apto Team on Apr 20, 2017

buildings-landscape-320x213.jpgThe year is well underway and looks to be a promising one for commercial real estate investment.

A recent survey conducted by the Urban Land Institute shows that $1.7 trillion will be coming into the CRE market this year globally—an increase from $895 billion in 2016. The CBRE Americas Investor Intentions Survey 2017 also shows a positive outlook, breaking it down sector by sector to see what’s been happening and what we could expect for the rest of the year.

These are the trends we’re keeping an eye on.

Topics: Industry News
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Stop obsessing about the ROI of your CRE tech

By Nell Gable on Apr 19, 2017

assistant-503046-edited-1.jpegWhen it comes to purchasing new technology for your commercial real estate brokerage, return on investment shouldn’t be the main focus.

That might sound like a pretty absurd claim for a CRE tech company to make, but hear us out. With many industries that have more established tech tools, it’s easy enough to calculate the ROI of a new technology purchase. You invest X in upgrading to a tool and receive X+Y in return within a reasonable time period.

In real estate, however, the deal timeline is pretty long. You’re not going to see a calculable ROI in the first few months of trying a new tool since you’re not going to suddenly close 10 more deals. But with relatively large commissions, chances are, if you close just one extra deal thanks to the help of technology (which usually costs a small fraction of your commission), then your investment already has a huge return.

That’s why, when considering the purchase of tech, there’s way more to consider than just the money you’re putting into it.

Topics: CRE Tech
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4 tips for CRE brokers in the appraisal process

By Carl Streck on Apr 18, 2017

mountainseed 4-18-17-320x160.pngAs a commercial real estate broker, it’s easy to feel like the appraisal process is out of your hands and there isn’t anything you can do to help move it along.

Contrary to this popular belief, there are actually a few things you can do to make sure your appraisal is moving forward as fast as possible. To make your appraisals sail through the process flawlessly (with no surprises!), keep these four best practices in mind.

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[Short story] Future Office: The Adventures of Hannah and Skip

By Franco Faraudo on Apr 17, 2017

Apto Modern Office_Slides-3 320x213.jpgNever believe anyone peddling either nostalgia or a certainty about the future.

Fiction is the way to go. You get to explore the realm of possibilities and entertain new ideas while still maintaining a sense of realism and anticipation. And perhaps most importantly, it’s fun.

We wanted to try something a little different this week. There’s plenty you can read about 3D property tours, drones, the Internet of Things, driverless cars, etc. and how those technologies will impact commercial real estate. But let’s push it out a bit further in time and focus in on the people―specially, one person and her family―and how they might operate in a world seemingly ruled by technology.

Below, you can read an excerpt of the first part of our fictional series, Future Office: The Adventures of Hannah and Skip. Then read the rest, and subscribe for updates on the next installment.

Topics: Disruption
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7 movie moments that will make you a better broker

By Irena Ashcraft on Apr 13, 2017

What can Hollywood teach you about being a better broker? Turns out, a lot. Kick back and enjoy these 7 kernels of movie wisdom:

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[Infographic] Brokers, here’s how to turn someone else's deal into your opportunity

By Russ Duncan on Apr 12, 2017

Everyone loves announcing that they’ve closed a deal. It’s the time you get to tell your peers, the market, and prospects that you’re someone who can navigate―and more importantly, execute―the complexities of commercial real estate. It represents months of relationship building, acute and timely analysis, and persistence.

But what about a deal announcement that’s not your own? While nice (perhaps) to cheers your fellow brokers on their success, it’s nicer to see how you can leverage the news to further your deals―or create new ones.

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Professional development in CRE: 3 tips for the time-strapped broker

By Nell Gable on Apr 11, 2017

broker-business-newspaper-320x211.jpgWe don’t need to tell you twice — the world of commercial real estate is competitive. There are thousands of brokers out there just like you, with similar experience and credentials. So how do you edge out the competition and ensure you are remembered?

For one, you improve your skillset through professional development.

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5 ways to make networking a painless part of your daily life

By Nell Gable on Apr 10, 2017

biz-networking-320x213.jpgWhen you’re busy juggling your work and your personal life, networking often slips to the bottom of the to-do list. Meeting new people and putting yourself out there takes a lot of time and energy.

Yet it’s astonishing how quickly you can fall out of touch if you fail to maintain your current professional connections―while continuously adding new ones to the pipeline.

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In case you missed it...what to know about the recent interest rate hike

By Ian Ritter on Apr 6, 2017

money-float-over-marked-us-map-320x180.jpgThere’s certainly a lot going on in the news cycle lately, so you might have missed the latest interest rate increase from the Fed. Don’t worry, we’ll catch you up on what you need to know.

Topics: Industry News
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How commercial real estate can attract top talent to become the next Wall Street for college grads

By Tanner McGraw on Apr 5, 2017

NYC-NY-1-320x213.jpgThere’s a rumbling throughout the commercial real estate brokerage business. The industry appears to be attracting a higher caliber of sales talent than ever before. The extended real estate boom and the aggressive push that many brokerages have made to revitalize their talent pools have helped make the industry an attractive destination for smart, ambitious graduates.

I’m impressed with the new wave of recruits I’ve met at firms around the nation—brokers with degrees from top universities and, perhaps more importantly, that distinct hunger that marks a salesperson bound for greatness.

Topics: Disruption
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Amenities arms race: 6 multifamily trends to watch

By Irena Ashcraft on Apr 4, 2017

multifamily.pngAhhh, the sweet lure of amenities. In simpler times, “amenities” might have referred to a lobby and a room with some treadmills in it. Today, amenities are everything— and almost everything is on offer, from virtual golf rooms to trendy culinary classes.

Millennials are a major demographic behind this amenity evolution. With their tastes trending urban, they’re seeking out the “live work play” havens that dense city centers can provide. Consequently, rentals are on the rise: there are 1.6 million more renters today than there were just five years ago.

Topics: Industry News
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Q&A: How brokers at any level can earn their clients’ trust

By Nell Gable on Apr 3, 2017

how_to_handle_the_first_meeting_with_a_client__ts.jpgWith over 13 years of experience representing multifamily property owners in the greater Chicagoland area, John Meyer, a director at Kiser Group, understands the value of lasting client relationships in closing deals. But because 98% of multifamily properties don’t sell in a given year, the hallmark of John’s work is really in the extended effort and attention to detail he cultivates in each relationship.

Here, he shares his strategies for forging lasting and fruitful partnerships with even the most traditional property owners.

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All the psychological mind tricks a broker could need (free ebook)

By Elizabeth Knight on Mar 30, 2017

APTO_psychological secrets-cover.pngWhy would you praise a competitor in front of client?

Believe it or not, that’s what top performing commercial real estate brokers do. Good brokers aren’t afraid to talk other people up, whether they’re colleagues or competitors. They know that life isn’t a zero-sum game, and that another broker’s success doesn’t somehow render them unsuccessful. What’s more, the psychological phenomenon known as spontaneous trait transference, which says that people will associate you with the words you use to describe others, can bring this praise back to them.

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The top 9 questions brokers get about building technology

By Victoria Graham on Mar 29, 2017