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[Infographic] The CRE Digital Marketing Checklist

By The Apto Team on Dec 18, 2018

Thinking about revamping your digital marketing strategy for 2019? Look no further.

Digital marketing isn't just the territory of millennials or technology companies. The term simply refers to any efforts to promote yourself or your brokerage on the internet, and it should an important part of your business strategy.

Here's a quick-hit strategic checklist to make sure you're doing it right.

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How to use effective prospecting emails to fill your pipeline

By Heather Munro on Dec 6, 2018

Ask any broker: Nurturing potential clients takes finesse. Come on too strong or offer too little value, and you’ll be rebuffed. Short but sweet emails are ideal for introducing yourself to prospects and setting the stage for an ongoing relationship.

Unfortunately, you aren’t the only one sending emails to prospects. In order to get a response, your message must first stand out enough to get noticed in your prospect’s overflowing inbox. And once your email is opened—if it gets opened—it better be worth your prospect’s time, or you’ll be filed under spam.  

To help you write an email that gets results, we’ve outlined the elements of a successful prospecting template you can use to fill your sales pipeline with future clients.

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The best of commercial real estate data sources: demographics + broker databases

By The Apto Team on Dec 4, 2018

There are a vast number of companies that provide commercial real estate data, and it can be difficult to sort through them or know which ones are the best. We’ve gathered 52 top notch companies that provide commercial real estate data and categorized them into the following categories: Lease/Sales Transactions, Ownership Info, Mortgage/Financial Data, Property Data, Listings/Availabilities, Short-term/Coworking Space, Demographics, Geolocation, and Broker Databases.

Here is a preview of some of the companies you'll find in our ebook, 52 Commercial Real Estate Data Source Services.

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5 reasons clients choose one broker over another

By Erik Dolan-Del Vecchio on Nov 15, 2018

brokers-suits-coffee-320x240Landlords, tenants, and investors depend on brokers to help them navigate the world of commercial real estate. But given all the competition in the market, what can you do to ensure prospects choose you over your competitors?

Start by understanding exactly what clients are looking for.

We all know prospecting is the key to finding new business, but prospecting is more than making phone calls and handing out business cards. While those are important parts, at its core prospecting is about becoming the type of broker clients want to work with.

And while no two clients are exactly alike, there are clear traits landlords, investors and tenants look for in a broker. From strong communication skills to keeping pace with changes in the industry, here are the things prospects want to see when selecting their next broker.

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Prospecting for brokers who don't prospect anymore

By Irena Ashcraft on Nov 8, 2018

how_to_handle_the_first_meeting_with_a_client__ts-2If you’ve been in the commercial real estate business for a while, chances are good that you’ve got a large network of repeat clients and referrals keeping you busy. So busy, perhaps, that you may not even remember the last time you actively had to prospect for new deals. You’ve put in years of hard work, and all of it is finally paying off.

But even though you may not need to drum up new business the way you used to when you were starting out, you still need to stay connected to your network on a consistent basis. Are you prospecting? Maybe not with the same hunger as in your early years. But are you talking to more people than ever? Definitely.

As your network has grown, you may have realized that you’re spending even more time on the phone than before. There are simply more people to get back to, more referrals to follow up on, and more longtime clients to stay in touch with.

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5 ways to keep even the most difficult clients happy (and stay sane in the meantime)

By The Apto Team on Nov 1, 2018

broker-shaking-hands-224097-edited-1You spend a lot of time building your network in commercial real estate. You’re busy prospecting for new business, establishing rapport with clients, asking for referrals, going to conferences, and so on. 

And if we’re being honest, you’re not going to get along with all those people. There will be plenty of folks along the the way who will be challenging to work with for one reason or another. We’ve known some brokers who are established enough to choose who they work with, but for many brokers, you just have to push through the more difficult personalities.

And when it’s with a client, it can be especially important to make sure they stay happy.

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5 CRE data fails (and how to prevent them)

By Irena Ashcraft on Oct 25, 2018

frustrated-man-laptop-320x213Success in commercial real estate is built on great relationships. Some of the best brokers in the field are out there making phone calls, booking lunch dates, meeting new contacts, connecting with old clients, and networking with just about everyone. But behind every warm handshake, cold call, and hot lead is something that often gets overlooked: great data.

It may not be glamorous, but data is what makes things happen. CRE is full of data sets like property specs, financial stats, ownership history, and the number of cold calls you make each day. If you’re doing data right, you see a world of connections, trends, and insights that are invisible to everyone else. If you’re doing it wrong, all you see is a bunch of numbers.

Your data can be extremely powerful if you use it right. But if you’re making any of these 5 common data mistakes, you may actually be doing more harm than good. Here’s what you should know:

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How to tell if you need to upgrade your CRM

By The Apto Team on Oct 23, 2018

agile-post-its-320x213Excel spreadsheets. A precise email folder structure in your Outlook. Color-coded post-it notes. Salesforce. A CRE-dedicated technology that stores your data.

Whether you think of it as a CRM or not, every commercial real estate broker has a way to track and manage their prospect and client relationships. That’s what CRM is after all―customer relationship management. It refers to technology that helps you track, manage, and analyze interactions with contacts, whether they're prospective or current clients. It is generally a catchall term for the technology that enables these processes, but you could consider the more basic systems above as CRM (if you’re feeling generous).

5 warning signs that you might need a new system

If you’re comfortable with your income, you feel like you have plenty of time to get your work done, and have never missed a deadline or let a key detail slip, then you probably don’t need to upgrade whatever system you have in place.

But if not, it’s worth exploring if you need a new CRM.

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What good is data if you don’t use it? Here’s how two brokers are making that easy.

By Irena Ashcraft on Oct 18, 2018

broker-building-phone-320x213You know that data drives commercial real estate. Contacts, properties, square footage, NOI, comps, listings...the list goes on. Even though relationships are the foundation of your business, data is the at the heart of every new connection, deal, and transaction. If you use it right, you have access to a world of insights and opportunities—and can provide thoughtful guidance to clients at a moments’ notice. If you use it wrong (or not at all) you’re adrift in a sea of numbers.

Read: Learn how a CRM organizes your data

This month, we asked two top brokers how they make the most of their data. Here’s what we learned:

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4 things Baby Boomer and Millennial brokers can learn from each other

By Irena Ashcraft on Oct 16, 2018

baby-boomer-millennial-320x212If you’ve been in the commercial real estate business for a while, you’ve seen the industry shift dramatically over the yearsespecially with the arrival of the newest generation of young brokers, some of whom definitely do things differently. From their ease with tech to their tendency to turn to LinkedIn and email for outreach, they’re relying heavily on modern tools to make life easier.

But you’ve been in this game for a while, and you know that timeless strategies like in-person meetings and follow-up phone calls never get old.

Meanwhile, if you’re a broker who’s never known a world before computers and cellphones, you may be wondering why some of your older counterparts do business in a way that seems to take more time and energy. After all, you can email 1,000 people by the time they finish one phone call with a prospect! But there’s a reason they’ve been in business this long, and that’s because their approach works.

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