What a successful CRE technology implementation looks like

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.

Topics: Best Practices CRE Tech

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

Getting 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.

Topics: Best Practices

Introducing Apto Commissions, a better way to get paid

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.

Topics: Company Updates CRE Tech

7 ways to keep your brokerage team motivated

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.

Topics: Best Practices

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

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.

Topics: Best Practices

3 productivity apps for CRE brokers in 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.

Topics: CRE Tech Efficiency

3 ways to prepare for ICSC RECon

ICSC 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

How to signal to brokerage leadership that you're ready for a promotion

Commercial 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.

Topics: Best Practices

What's the formula for great teamwork?

A 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.

Topics: Best Practices Efficiency

23 conversation topics to help you look smart when prospecting

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.

Topics: Best Practices

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

Remember 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?

Topics: Best Practices CRE Tech Efficiency

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

What 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!

Topics: Best Practices

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

This 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.

Topics: Best Practices Efficiency

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

Nowadays, 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?

Topics: Best Practices

Overheard in the boardroom

Over 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.”

Topics: Best Practices

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

Most 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?

Topics: Best Practices

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

When 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.

Topics: Best Practices Efficiency

4 great responses to tough negotiating tactics

When 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.

Topics: Best Practices