New feature alert: Apto Mobile now with Listings

A 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.

Topics: Company Updates

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

Great 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.

Topics: Best Practices

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

Like 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.

Topics: Best Practices Interviews

Win more business with these 4 powerful persuasion techniques

As 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:

Topics: Best Practices

A better way to predict future technology

When 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

The best career advice these 6 brokers ever received

“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.

Topics: Best Practices Interviews

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

When 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.

Topics: Best Practices

Changing retail markets are forcing landlords to get creative

The 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

6 times you knew you needed a better CRM but ignored the signs

When 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.

Topics: CRE Tech Efficiency

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

Commercial 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:

Topics: Best Practices Interviews

Be a better broker—in two minutes

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. 

Topics: Best Practices

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

In 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! 

Topics: Best Practices

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

 The 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

WeWork’s evolution could keep disrupting office markets

WeWork 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. 

Topics: Industry News Disruption

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

We 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?

Topics: Best Practices Efficiency

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

This article originally appeared in Real Estate Tech News. 

You’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.

Topics: Best Practices CRE Tech

5 issues that scare off commercial tenants

As 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.

Topics: Best Practices