It seems that every day, I stumble upon more innovative new CRE tech sites that are focused on maximizing efficiency for real estate professionals. Discovering these sites makes me think about how inefficient many of us are, or have been in the past. Many of these new sites are founded by the industry ‘insiders,’ which coaligns with the whole efficiency factor because they understand the inefficiencies that exist and know how to resolve them. Apto certainly fits in the ‘innovative new CRE tech sites’ category. Apto is a scalable commercial real estate brokerage CRM and deal management app developed by CRE brokers for CRE brokerages. It provides brokerages with a moldable, cloud-based solution that brings your full business into one app. Easily manage your relationships along with you investment sales, landlord rep, and tenant rep pipelines.
I had the pleasure of chatting with Tanner McGraw, Co-Founder of Apto, about their story, social media strategies and future goals.
Michael: What is the background story of Apto?
Tanner: Our company began with our brokerage team looking for a better commercial real estate CRM. We were cramming our business model into rigid desktop software for years, resulting in much frustration and inefficiency. We bounced around from app to app and finally built Apto to run our business. After years of fine-tuning, we realized we had a pretty solid solution and decided to commercialize.
Michael: What gaps did you find in the industry that Apto has solutions for?
Tanner: We provide a complete, moldable CRE CRM system that handles everything a brokerage firm might do. We’re the only app that handles it all out of the box.
Michael: How does Apto make the commercial real estate brokerage process more efficient?
Tanner: A well-executed CRE CRM system tends to house the majority of a brokerage firms’ data- relationships, offerings, comps, etc. These are all things that can be better leveraged in a cloud-based world. Syncing deal information and activity is an obvious example. Or a simple, but time-saving tweak is generating a letter of intent with the listing and contact information you already have. Those improvements save hours in a week for the average broker.
Michael: How did you expand your client base throughout the years?
Tanner: Through referrals, value-add content like our whitepapers and books, social media marketing, and good old-fashioned business development.
Michael: Tell us about the team you have assembled?
Tanner: My partner, Eric, handles onboarding and sales. Abbe keeps us sane by managing operations and does double duty with content generation for our marketing channels. Hung solves everyone’s problems. Andrew runs our development team and I pinch-hit wherever I am needed.
Michael: The CRE tech world seems to be exploding right now with new and exciting websites launching each day. What are some of the reasons you think there are so many new CRE tech sites available?
Tanner: Commercial real estate is notoriously behind when it comes to tech adoption and innovation. I suspect, like us, the industry was tired of using decade’s old technology and business practices and saw the opportunity to innovate. We’re finally seeing the change that was needed.
Michael: What CRE tech sites in particular are you personally fond of?
Tanner: There are plenty of notable apps out there that are changing the industry but I really love what Compstak is doing. It’s such an elegant solution to a long-standing issue. I guess it’s the novelty of crowdsourced comps that makes it so appealing.
Michael: How do you use social media to market your product?
Tanner: We leverage the use of all of the major social media sites with product announcements, update, thoughts on the market place, whitepapers, and other value-add content. We’re also considering adding a Pinterest site for our very own exhaustive list of lemon scone and eggs benedict recipes.
Michael: What are your future goals for the site?
Tanner: We want to bring as much efficiency under one roof as possible through simple integrations and refinements to our product. In short, we want to be the Hubspot of commercial real estate.
So, have you tried Apto yet? Let me know your thoughts.