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This pipeline report template will help you stay on top of your business and cash flow all year

By Elizabeth Knight on Jan 17, 2019

visibilityDid you meet your income goals for 2019?

Commercial real estate brokerage is an inherently risky industry, and it can be difficult to get transparency into your business when you're working through complex deals that can take years to close. Sometimes it probably seems like deals can fall through at the drop of a hat.

It might seem difficult to predict when a deal will come through, but the truth is that you can and should track your pipeline. It is possible to better manage the risk involved and get some level of visibility into your cash flow. After all, if you ran a retail store or restaurant franchise and didn’t have any reporting on the business, how long do you think you'd last?

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Forget cold call volume. Try this prospecting system instead.

By Elizabeth Knight on Jan 3, 2019

broker-building-phone-tablet-320x213Do you have prospecting goals? Maybe you set aside an hour each morning to call however many people you can, or perhaps you set a goal of 500 calls a week.

The next question is tougher: Do you ever meet those goals? Let's face it—you're busy, and prospecting isn’t fun. Not only is it not fun, our brains aren’t really wired to feel motivation for a task where the payoff is so far in the future! Any given call might turn into a deal, but even if all goes perfectly, it could be months until you see a paycheck. More often it's years.

Prospect smarter with Apto. Get a demo to see how.

Now here's some good news: there's a different, easier way to approach prospecting. Most brokers probably default to increasing call volume when they want to fill their pipeline. But if you break the numbers down a little differently, you can create a strategy that’s a lot less overwhelming and a lot more effective.

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Your 2019 tech budget: A guide to CRE tools beyond CRM

By Erik Dolan-Del Vecchio on Nov 27, 2018

59c9921faca4f_jobs_report_career_business_people_computer_laptop_technology_CRE_tech-320x218Whether its keeping track of contacts or using the latest sales tools to win more deals, theres no question a strong CRM platform benefits every broker. Its the tech foundation of your business and the first item to check off your CRE tech shopping list.

But once you have an effective CRM in place, what then?

The world of CRE tech is expanding every day, and from marketing tools to virtual reality, its easy to feel lost in the mix. To help guide your technology investments, we looked through the key contenders to separate the essential from the optional.

From critical technologies that help you make the most of your data to nice but currently optional technologies like virtual reality, heres what you need to know to make the most of your technology budget.

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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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Webinar: Take a look at maps, deal boards, call lists, integrated news, and more

By The Apto Team on Oct 30, 2018

APTO_Deals Mock-up-2-webJoin us for a live webinar on Wednesday, Nov. 7 at 1 p.m. CT to see how Apto is driving deal flow more efficiently and effectively for nearly 10,000 commercial real estate brokers.

We’ll show you our latest and greatest features, including: mapping functionality, an interactive deals board, intelligent call lists, integrated CRE news, and enhanced tenant rep functionality.

Register now


Here’s a little bit more of a preview about what you’ll see.

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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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Webinar: New leasing insights for better conversations (and more!)

By The Apto Team on Jul 31, 2018

APTO_Leasing Mock-up-2Finding and building relationships with tenants can take a lot of time, and with periods where you feel like you haven’t accomplished anything. Brokers from all generations know the importance of making a good impression on the first call and then keeping momentum through every subsequent interaction.

In talking to brokers, we’ve seen the many ways in which they piece together the contact, company, and lease information needed to make a good connection when they get on the phone. It usually involves 5-15 tabs on one computer screen and a good amount of prep time before the call.

If this sounds familiar, then you’re going to like what we say next: You don’t need to work this way anymore.

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7 apps brokers can download right now to gain more hours in their day

By The Apto Team on Jun 21, 2018

man-suit-tie-phone-320x256Who doesn’t wish they had a few more hours in their day? Commercial real estate brokers in particular are always on the move and multitasking between a number of urgent tasks.

What better way to be more productive than to look to the technology we already use a hundred times a day—our cellphones! Here are seven apps brokers can download right now to gain more hours in their day.

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