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Elizabeth Knight

Elizabeth is a Marketing Manager at Apto. She loves words, cheeseburgers, polo, and the facepunch emoji.

Recent Posts

Are you good at email? Here’s how to be a little bit better.

By Elizabeth Knight on Jun 20, 2019

apto-inboxWhen you think about the communication methods you use in your professional life, face to face is still the most important for commercial real estate brokers, followed by the trusty phone call.

But then it’s email. Being efficient and communicating your message clearly and succinctly doesn’t just save you time and energy, it saves your clients time and energy.

To be an effective broker, you should be able to do a couple things when it comes to email: You should know how to manage your inbox so it doesn’t overflow with urgent messages, but also doesn’t suck all the time out of your day because you’re responding to everything immediately. You should be able to send a message that gets your point across and prompts action, but doesn’t take long to read. And you should know how and when to use mass email to amplify your message and brand.

Fortunately, there are tools and resources out there that can help with all of this. Even if you’re already good at email, you can always stand to be a bit better. Here’s how.

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Why you can never stop prospecting, and how to do it at every stage of your career

By Elizabeth Knight on Jun 19, 2019

broker-building-phone-tablet-320x213If you’re not actively prospecting for new business as a commercial real estate broker, then you’re falling behind.

Brokers who are only a few years into the business understand this inherently. Building a book of business takes a long time, so in the early years, it might feel like your job is ALL prospecting.

But the trick is to keep the momentum throughout your career. Even if you have plenty of repeat business and referrals, if you’re not also reaching out to new people, then your business is in decline.

We hear it over and over from the top brokers in all markets and specialties. It’s great to not have to rely completely on prospecting, but at the end of the day, you always have to think about your long-term pipeline. To keep your pipeline full and your business moving forward in some way, you have to keep meeting new people.

Here are some of our favorite resources to inspire and guide your prospecting efforts at every stage of your career as a commercial real estate broker.

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The absolute best time to ask for a referral and exactly what to say

By Elizabeth Knight on Jun 13, 2019

broker-shaking-hands-224097-edited-1We all know that referrals are one of the best ways for commercial real estate brokers to get new business. You should never completely rely on referrals or repeat business, but it can be a big boost for your career over time if you perfect the art of the referral request.

Happy clients should be more than willing to give you a few names or a reference at the very least. And when you have someone to vouch for your work right out of the gate, the initial process of bringing on a new client can move a little faster.

So, the big question. At what time and stage in the transaction process should you make a direct request for a referral?

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5 creative ways to be the broker your clients will never forget

By Elizabeth Knight on May 30, 2019

fancy-car-320x213Commercial real estate brokerage is a relationship business, and relationships are built on trust and rapport.

When it comes to prospects and clients, the trust comes from knowing your stuff, showing your stuff, and ultimately doing your job well.

The rapport comes from that little something extra. How do you go above and beyond for clients? If you’ve been in the industry for a few years, then chances are a big percentage of your deals are from repeat business or referrals. And while brokers should never really stop prospecting, you need to put in time and effort to impress your clients and maintain those relationships so the next time they need a broker, they call you.

Here are a few ways you can build a strong rapport and be the broker your clients will never forget.

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4 myths about commercial real estate brokers—debunked

By Elizabeth Knight on May 21, 2019

brokers-buildings-abstract-320x209Commercial real estate brokers get a bad rap sometimes.

They can be seen as pushy and aggressive, or borderline unethical. If you’re a potential prospect, you might get hounded by calls and visits from brokers. If you’re a broker, you could find yourself on a team so competitive you’ll have leads stolen right out from under you.

The commercial real estate industry at large also has a bit of reputation. It’s known as an old boy’s club, and one that’s pretty outdated in terms of technology. Many brokers still rely on Excel or even pen and paper, and they don’t trust technology for their business.

That’s what some people say, anyway. And at times, maybe they’re right. But you and I know that these perceptions don’t accurately reflect the full reality of CRE.

We break down four common myths about commercial real estate—and why they’re false.

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The broker’s quick guide to instilling accountability in your team—and yourself

By Elizabeth Knight on May 9, 2019

teamworkEveryone manages someone.

Maybe your commercial real estate brokerage team includes you and one admin to support you. Maybe you manage one other broker, or 10. Or perhaps you’re an independent contractor and it’s really just you! Even then, you’re managing yourself and your work and output every day. As they say in commercial real estate, you eat what you kill, so you have to make sure you’re managing yourself as best you can.

Whatever size your team, instilling accountability can be difficult. Here are three tips to make it easier by structuring accountability into your processes.

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How commercial real estate brokers can write better mass emails

By Elizabeth Knight on May 2, 2019

emails-marketing-320x180Whether you call it an email “blast” or a “push” or a “send,” an email sent to hundreds or thousands of people at once can still be an effective commercial real estate marketing strategy.

It cannot and should not replace one-on-one connections and conversations, but there are still times when a mass email can come in handy. Maybe you send a monthly newsletter with market news and trends to your network of contacts, or perhaps you want to get the word out on a new listing (after you’ve already called your top contacts and likely buyers, of course).

Mass email may seem like an old-school strategy, but it’s still around for a reason. Here are a few tips to up your game and write emails that people actually want to read.

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4 quick tips to cut prospecting research time in half

By Elizabeth Knight on Apr 30, 2019

watch_by_computer-720230-editedIt’s Tuesday morning, and you have a call block for prospecting on your calendar.

You put Outlook on one screen and Excel on the other. You pull up a browser with your CRE data provider of choice, as well as LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, and Google—all on individual tabs. Then you scan your contacts to figure out a strategy, filtering in Excel to define your target group. Finally, you pick up your phone and call the first contact in your spreadsheet.

Sound familiar? No wonder you put off prospecting. It can take a lot of time each day to get fully prepared and make connections.

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Two simple tricks to make prospecting seem less daunting

By Elizabeth Knight on Apr 11, 2019

broker_on_motorcycle-1600x1068Are you one of those commercial real estate brokers that has a tendency to put off prospecting? No matter how often you think about it, how often you promise yourself or your team that you’ll do it, how often you block time on your calendar, you just can’t make it happen. It’s your least favorite part of the job and the first thing you postpone when you’re busy.

Of course, you know how important it is to prospect. It feels great to be working deals and know the commission check is in sight, but once those deals are done and the check is cashed, what’s next? You can rely on repeat business and referrals if you’ve been around for a while, sure. But even tenured brokers know that to be continually moving forward, you have to keep prospecting.

Here are two tricks that can help make prospecting a little bit easier.

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What makes a good target prospect? How to identify top opportunities in your market.

By Elizabeth Knight on Mar 7, 2019

broker-building-phone-tablet-320x213Have you switched to the top-of-mind prospecting system?

The concept is appealing. Outlined by Blaine Strickland in his book, Thrive: Ten Prescriptions for Exceptional Performance as a Commercial Real Estate Agent, the strategy involves less cold calling, and instead outlines a method that focuses on identifying 125 high-value targets in your market to build relationships with so you’re “top of mind” when they need an expert CRE advisor. Over time, they’ll give you a healthy income, and you don’t have to spend all day on the phone.

But what exactly makes a good target prospect for that list?

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