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Tanner McGraw

Tanner McGraw is the founder and chief strategy officer of Apto, a leading web-based software platform for commercial real estate brokers. A commercial real estate veteran with a decade of brokerage experience, Tanner founded Apto after experiencing deep frustration with the lack of specialized technology available to manage customer relationships simply and profitably. Today, hundreds of brokerages use Apto’s scalable cloud-based app to better manage their contacts, properties and businesses.

Recent Posts

New Podcast Series: “Common Area with Tanner McGraw”

By Tanner McGraw on Apr 18, 2018

common-area-podcast-logo-250x250When 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
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What’s the future of CRM?

By Tanner McGraw on Mar 19, 2018

blurry_city-320x202.jpegThis article first appeared in Propmodo.

In the late aughts, I was a commercial real estate broker in a desperate search for technology to organize my business. At Marcus & Millichap, I was making hundreds of calls a week and working pretty sizable deals, and it was ridiculous to me that there was no software designed for my industry that could make my job easier. The design and functionality that existed at the time was rudimentary at best, counterproductive at worst, and nothing was in the cloud.

That’s why I created my own CRM, and eventually founded Apto. Even since then, CRE brokerage has changed quite a bit. When I last took stock in 2013, Apto was still just a baby. Barely two years old, we were still learning how to walk, keep our balance, and feed ourselves.

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

By Tanner McGraw on Jun 5, 2017

This article originally appeared in Real Estate Tech News. 

jerry-bernard-142866.jpgYou’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.

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

By Tanner McGraw on May 9, 2017

broker-data-relationships-320x216.jpgThis 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.

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How commercial real estate can attract top talent to become the next Wall Street for college grads

By Tanner McGraw on Apr 5, 2017

NYC-NY-1-320x213.jpgThere’s a rumbling throughout the commercial real estate brokerage business. The industry appears to be attracting a higher caliber of sales talent than ever before. The extended real estate boom and the aggressive push that many brokerages have made to revitalize their talent pools have helped make the industry an attractive destination for smart, ambitious graduates.

I’m impressed with the new wave of recruits I’ve met at firms around the nation—brokers with degrees from top universities and, perhaps more importantly, that distinct hunger that marks a salesperson bound for greatness.

Topics: Disruption
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What to do when your pipeline dries up

By Tanner McGraw on Feb 13, 2017

Chalkboard_Apto_Best_Practices-259587-edited.jpgThis article first appeared in GlobeSt.

“The obvious way to deal with a lackluster pipeline is to double down on lead generation.” That is according to Tanner McGraw, CEO and founder of Apto. But to prevent dry spells, he says that commercial real estate brokers should take a step back and look carefully at their processes and ensure they’re tracking their business effectively. “After all, the timeline of a deal in the industry is long, often spanning many months or even years. It’s easy to lose sight of the early stages of the pipeline when you have a deal or several in the works.” In the exclusive commentary below, McGraw says that brokers need to make sure they’re systematically and consistently addressing each area of the business and gives them tips on how to do just that.

The views expressed below are the author’s own.

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Why a people person needs data, too

By Tanner McGraw on Jan 18, 2017

assistant-503046-edited.jpegThis article originally appeared in cre.tech.

There is a prevailing notion in commercial real estate that a broker, like any sales professional, is a people person, not a numbers person. Data seems to be at odds with brokers’ natural strengths: the antithesis to their verbal skills, instincts and winning charm.

But commercial real estate brokers are thinking about data all wrong. It is simply information—and for brokers, it takes countless forms, from the names of landlords, owners and CEOs, to building sale prices, to the number of times they’ve reached out to a prospect. Sure, most brokers would rather be making pitches than crunching numbers, but if they can change the way they think about data, they can actually use their time more efficiently and improve performance in a way that doesn’t conflict with their natural love of the sales game.

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Why commercial real estate brokers fail

By Tanner McGraw on Jan 9, 2017

man with pen and paper-619268-edited.jpegThis article first appeared in RealityBizNews.

Not everyone can make it as a commercial real estate broker. In fact, it’s common knowledge within the industry that at least half of recruits will leave within three years. Some brokers even report a new broker failure rate as high as 90 percent. In part, the perks of the job are what makes it challenging: autonomy, flexibility, a pure commission-based salary. Some people simply lack the skills and personality necessary to succeed—but other common pitfalls can be avoided.

While certain hurdles, such as lack of training, need to be addressed at an institutional level, other problems can be tackled by rookie brokers head-on. Let’s take a look at why brokers fail, and what can be done about it.

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The KPIs every broker must know (but probably doesn’t)

By Tanner McGraw on Nov 22, 2016

broker-graphs-300228-edited.jpegThis article first appeared in Real Estate Tech News.

As much as we like to think that sales is about relationships, it is really a numbers game. Brokers that acknowledge this can add a degree of predictability to their business by analyzing and tracking key performance indicators (KPIs).

Unfortunately, many brokers ignore the importance of these metrics, measure the wrong or incomplete information, or lack a system for tracking results. That’s a shame, since brokers can use KPIs to prospect better, grow and improve their business, and forecast with more confidence. Here’s how.

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5 reasons why we’ll always need CRE brokers

By Tanner McGraw on Nov 8, 2016

broker_prisma_Fotor-201294-edited-289576-edited.jpgNote: This article first appeared in GlobeSt

There’s a lot of prattle about new technology that allows sellers to communicate directly with buyers or renters, without the intervention or assistance of a broker. It makes for good reading, but its threat to the commercial real estate industry is often overstated. We will always need commercial real estate brokers, particularly those with extensive property and market knowledge and shrewd negotiation skills.

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