New video: A better way to prospect

Earlier this year we released the Best Practices Library, designed to be your go-to resource for all things commercial real estate strategy. Each article outlined specific tactics to run your brokerage more efficiently—ways to track prospecting conversions, how to give a property tour, etc—as well as the technological know-how to make it happen. We talk about Apto of course, but the principles can be applied to any CRM. 

Topics: Best Practices Efficiency

5 keys to learning new technology at any age

Think you’re too old to learn new technology?

Good news. You’re not.

Why should you give up your tried-and-true, low- or no-tech system for prospecting and managing deals?

Fair question.

As you know (or at least the back of your mind does), it’s going to get tougher to stay competitive as commercial real estate brokers use more and more tools that offer greater access to data in real time. The game is changing—but can you keep up?

Topics: CRE Tech

7 ways to control your inbox and not let it control you

Ever check your inbox and have a heart attack? Feel like you’re constantly communicating but getting nothing done?

Who would have thought that inbox management would become a bona fide professional skill. But since communication is the a building block of a strong relationship, and commercial real estate is all about relationships, it’s something you need to master. If your inbox is out of control, you can count on added stress, lower levels of productivity and—even worse—missed leads or deals.

Here are seven simple steps you can start doing today to manage your inbox like a pro.

Tomorrow's Technology Today: Apto CEO featured on The Commercial Real Estate Show

Apto founder and CEO Tanner McGraw was recently interviewed by Michael Bull on The Commercial Real Estate Show for the feature "Tomorrow’s Technology Today." Listen in to hear about why Tanner created Apto, how his experiences as a commercial real estate broker informed the product, and why technology is a lift—not a replacement—for the tried and true broker skillset.

Topics: CRE Tech

The eco-conscious trend—and two easy ways brokers can serve those clients

More and more environmentally conscious millennials are entering the workforce just as the consequences of global warming are becoming all too real. As a result, we’re seeing commercial real estate tenants requesting more than just a great view, plenty of natural light, and a kitchen; tenants want to know that the spaces they inhabit are eco-friendly as well.

Topics: Industry News

The hot CRE specialty that could fit everyone in America under its roof

There’s a commercial real estate specialty that’s gaining more and more ground (literally)—and it didn’t exist a few decades ago. It feels part retail, part industrial, but in reality it’s a sector all its own that’s performing quite well at the moment. Can you guess what it is?

Topics: Industry News

Is due diligence helped or hindered by the pace and availability of information? [Guest post: Tim Randall]

The commercial real estate industry is in the midst of a technological transformation—and no part of the process has been left untouched.

Just think of all the new leasing and management systems you’ve seen, the listing and search services out there, the data and analytics tools that promise to change everything. Or take a look at this map from CB Insights, a venture capital and angel investment database, to get an idea of all the different platforms and applications that are changing the way CRE is transacted.

Topics: CRE Tech

5 smartphone apps every CRE broker needs to use

Your smartphone can be a thing of beauty. Luckily, it can also be a thing of productivity, especially for busy commercial real estate brokers.

It’s not hard to get organized, stay efficient and increase timely communication with these five tools that can make every broker’s job easier.

Topics: Efficiency

Why brokers should keep an eye on coworking spaces

Every broker dreams of landing the next Facebook or Uber as a client, but with thousands of new startups cropping up every year, do you even know where to find the next potential unicorn company? And, more importantly, do those future unicorns know where to find you?

Topics: Disruption

One thing you absolutely must get done before the holiday chaos

Ready to cross a major item off your to-do list before the holiday season hits? You’ll thank yourself once December rolls around and you take a look at your calendar.

You still have a few months to achieve your annual goals, but before you know it, you’ll need to be planning for 2017. Start now by considering your budget for next year. While it’s not as fun as wining and dining clients, creating beautiful marketing packages and browsing exclusive listing services, it is exactly this item that allows you to do all of the above—or not.

Topics: Best Practices

3 certifications that make a property more appealing

Human beings spend the majority of their lives indoors (up to 90% of our time!), which means that the buildings we’re in have a big impact on our lives.

As a commercial real estate broker, you can help look out for your clients’ best interests by educating them on the three certifications that could not only make their latest investment property a hot one but that will also help improve the health and productivity of current and future tenants.

Here are three to know.

Topics: Efficiency

How to use technology to connect like a human

Technology has us more connected than ever nowadays. Thanks to smartphones, tablets and the variety of communication methods and apps and tools on them, we can immediately communicate with our colleagues and clients anywhere, anytime, any place. Any information we want to find is available at our fingertips.

And yet, all that connection can have the opposite effect. While many forms of communication are now more convenient, they can also distance us from one another. The easy answer we find on the web only tells part of the story.

Topics: Best Practices

Be productive, not busy

You’re not as busy as you think you are. No, really.

In today’s world, work never really stops. Even when you leave the office, your phone is still buzzing with emails, texts, calls from clients. That makes it easier than ever to fall into the “busy trap.” You know—that feeling of being overwhelmed by the seemingly endless meetings and communications that may make you feel important? All those tasks give the illusion of productivity when much of the time you’re really just chasing your tail.

The truth is that many of us are busy but not actually productive.

Topics: Best Practices

5 ways to safeguard your single best source of business

The business of commercial real estate involves a wide range of tasks and concerns that compete for a broker’s time and attention. Prospecting, transaction management, marketing, meetings…the list goes on.

It’s no wonder that client retention may not be top of mind.

The SoHo effect and the importance of market expertise

I work in LoDo. It’s southwest of RiNo and due south of LoHi. I live in NoMoSoMLK (which I just made up). It’s all in Colorado. You know, where South Park is located. Home of The Lofts and Residences of SoDoSoPa.

These are what Roman Mars and the crew at 99% Invisible call “acronames.” Search American cities from coast to coast and you’ll likely come across one or two of these neighborhoods. While many older cities still preserve traditional names (like River North and Wicker Park in Chicago, where I grew up), the trend got its start in the Big Apple. That’s right, SoHo in New York City.

Topics: Best Practices

Will Target’s small-format stores work?

Target is finally going small in a big way.

The retailer has talked for years about opening more urban stores, but it recently made it official with plans to open 100 small-format locations across the country. The planned stores, most of which will be in Chicago and Philadelphia, are less than 50,000 square feet and offer products that cater to urban shoppers, many of whom are well-to-do and don’t have a lot of options for what you might consider higher-end (but still discount) products.

Topics: Industry News

3 books that made our CEO better at selling than you

Why would we be so audacious as to call attention to the fact that it’s our job to sell you, and on top of it, that we’re always looking for better ways to do it? Transparency? Authenticity? Sure
we have nothing to hidebut the real reason we’re sharing it with you is that we think it just might help you grow your own business and significantly increase your sales.

Topics: Best Practices