Log In

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:

Continue Reading

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.

Continue Reading

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:

Continue Reading

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.

Continue Reading

3 ways to use culture to attract and retain top broker talent

By Jesse Grossman on Oct 4, 2018

Company-Culture-320x213If you’re growing your broker team, finding and retaining the right talent can be tricky. In any trade where commissions are involved, salespeople have to walk a fine line between their obvious financial motivation to make a sale and the client’s best interest. And thanks to deal cycles that can span years, brokers especially have to make large investments in establishing rapport with everyone involved.

At the management level, it’s your job to empower the sales team to cultivate the relationships that drive revenue. An environment that attracts and retains top brokers comes down to an investment in company culture. If your employees are happy, motivated, and working towards a common goal, then you’ve unlocked the key to a productive workforce.

Continue Reading

Are you tuned into the right news for CRE? Check out these local sources.

By Erik Dolan-Del Vecchio on Sep 25, 2018

News-laptopWhether it’s prospecting or navigating market trends, top brokers know you need to be informed if you want to get ahead.

Major news sources like Bloomberg, The New York Times, and The Wall Street Journal can help keep you up to date on global and national business developments, but they don’t typically cover local news. And for most brokers, understanding local changes in your market is the most important thing of all.

To help brokers stay on top of the deals and trends in their market, we decided to put together a list showcasing some of the best places to find local CRE news in three top markets across the country. If you do business in New York City, San Francisco or Houston, check out these sites to keep tabs on the deals and trends shaping your market. (And many of these organizations have regional outlets in different cities, so search for your own if you’re not in one of these areas.)

Continue Reading

5 CRE marketing tactics to learn before the end of the year

By The Apto Team on Sep 4, 2018

rcm-marketing-320x189Marketing in commercial real estate has to be more than just sending out a few emails now and then and posting your listings on LoopNet. This strategy won’t set you apart from competitors, because your competitors are doing the same things—the monthly newsletter, the listings on LoopNet, the social media post now and then…the list goes on.

In an industry like CRE, you need to make sure you are where your clients are in order to increase your presence and opportunity to close deals.

Continue Reading

4 underrated sales skills every broker needs

By Irena Ashcraft on Aug 30, 2018

adult-businessman-call-374008-118000-editedTo be a great broker, you’ve got to be great at sales: it’s how you build relationships, turn them into deals, and keep your business growing. But sales—as you already know—is about more than just making your way down a call list or blasting out an email. In fact, some of the most powerful sales skills are often very subtle.

Here are four underrated sales skills you should cultivate:

Continue Reading

4 reasons to share your data and turn your team into a real business

By Irena Ashcraft on Aug 16, 2018

broker-data-relationships-320x216-2What do you lose when you keep everything to yourself?

We know of brokers who are protective of their data as well as their relationships, and of some teams that are so competitive they’ll steal leads right out from under each other.

And in a way, we get that instinct to turn inward. It can feel like you’re laying all your cards on the table when you share hard-earned intel with people who may not understand what it took for you to get it in the first place—and who may run off with it the moment your back is turned.

But at the same time that some brokers are turning inward, others are turning that thinking right on its head. They’re discovering that when they open up and work together, they’re able to attract even more success for themselves, their team, and ultimately their business.

Continue Reading

Hunting unicorns: How to find the next billion-dollar startup in your market

By Erik Dolan-Del Vecchio on Aug 2, 2018

Unicorn-Startups-List-2018-355310-editedEvery broker wants to catch a unicorn.

If you can find the next billion-dollar startup early, then you can ride that relationship as they grow. And then maybe retire early.

But like most things, the task of finding tomorrow’s unicorn is a lot easier if you know where to look. And if you don’t live in Silicon Valley or New York City, don’t despair — experts are predicting the next unicorns will come from smaller, burgeoning tech markets across the country.

So from making connections at top universities to attending the right events, follow these steps to put yourself in the best position possible to catch your market’s next unicorn early on so you can keep that relationship for the long term.

Continue Reading