Broker insights: How do you start conversations with prospects?

As 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:

Topics: Best Practices Interviews

4 ways self-driving cars could revolutionize CRE

It 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

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

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.

Topics: Company Updates CRE Tech

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

Do 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.

Topics: Best Practices

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

Getting 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

Broker insights: What’s your top marketing strategy?

What’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

New Podcast Series: “Common Area with Tanner McGraw”

When 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

5 negotiating habits of top brokers

Whether 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.

Topics: Best Practices

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

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

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

This 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

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

This 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.

Topics: Company Updates CRE Tech

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

Big-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

6 commercial real estate associations to join and how to get the most out of them

Joining 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.

Topics: Best Practices

The Agile broker: Lessons and practices to be more productive

“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.

Topics: Best Practices

5 end-of-day rituals of successful brokers

For 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.

Use Apto to be more efficient

Why you lost that deal: 3 lessons from brokers

We 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

How to use a map to turn a deal into another deal

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.

Topics: Best Practices