Prospecting in Action
When prospecting for new commercial real estate business, you need to know exactly who you're contacting and why they are likely candidates for your services (as covered in Client Types and Client Segmentation).
Once you've established your lists, you need a system to put them to use and stay on top of your daily activities. Keeping your pipeline full means using time and resources efficiently.
Thankfully, Apto provides that system. You can schedule meetings and follow-up tasks, as well as use the Apto Console—a robust interface that gives you direct access to your call lists and important sales intelligence. With the Console, you can quickly pull up call lists and see contextual data that will help you make immediate and lasting connections with your prospects.
Setup the Console
To access the Console, click the "+" icon at the far right of the tab toolbar, then select "Console" in the list of available tabs. To permanently add the Console to your list of tabs, click the "Customize My Tabs" button located in the top right corner of the tab list.
On the following screen, locate "Console" in the list of available tabs and move to the list of selected tabs. The Console will now be available in your list of default tabs.
Using the Console
The Console is all about streamlining the prospecting process and boosting productivity. Everything you need to execute a prospecting session is in one place: call lists, contact pages, related company info and all related lists such as past activities, open listings, previous proposals and more.The Console interface combines list views on the top with two data element windows directly beneath. Depending on what you click on in the list view, the two windows will display the corresponding data. Choose your data element from the dropdown in the top left corner, and then select your named list to begin making and logging phone calls, and scheduling meetings.
In most cases, you're going to want a contact record to show in the bottom left third window. To do this, click on the contact name in the list. Here you'll have all the information available on the contact record to give you all the context you need to have a meaningful conversation. Additionally, you'll have the contact's company information.
Making calls, recording efforts & scheduling follow-up
Integrate your phone system to boost productivity and optimize tracking. Quickly make contact with "click to dial" right from within Apto, and automatically log calls once the phone call concludes. To learn more about the benefits of phone integration, check our blog featuring tips from a system admin.
Time to execute. Click on your first contact and then click on "Log a Call" under Activity History. The call log form will open. Fill out "Call Result" and fill out the "Details" as you talk to your prospect. Be sure to fill out the "Related To" when the call is related to a specific entity other than the contact. Relating a call to a Property or Listing will allow you to quickly see who you’ve talked to. It also allows you to create marketing reports for your client.
If there's a follow-up task or call that you agreed to do, don't waste time. Just scroll down, create it, and add a reminder to make sure you don't forget.
Next steps to keep momentum
Your most successful calls are the ones where you actually talked to someone. With such prospects, you must take action to keep the dialogue going. Let’s start with what we hope was the result of the call: a meeting request.
Meeting requests are handled quite well in most contact management and email/calendar systems, so why consider using Apto for this tried and true practice?
- It ensures all contacts are in your CRM
- You can give your prospect up to five meeting times and let them choose what works best for them
- The modern messaging interface makes it easy to collaborate and discuss meeting options
Your prospects don't need to have Apto for the tool to be effective. To use Apto's meeting request feature, scroll down to the "Open Activities" section of a contact page (this can be done through the Console or an individual Contact record). Click "New Meeting Request."
The contact you initiated the meeting request from will automatically be on the invite. To add more invitees, simply click the "To" button. Next, pick up to five times for the meeting and click "Next." Add a custom message on the next page and send.
Your prospect will receive an email with a link to the meeting interface page where they can choose the times that work for them and leave a message so you can make it official.
Once your prospective client responds, you can continue to collaborate on a time or confirm what they selected. Simply click the meeting request in the "Open Activities" section to open the meeting, pick the time and send the confirmation.
Whatever the outcome of your prospecting efforts, you probably learned some new bit of information worth storing for later use. Personal insights gained from each engagement are what make your database unique.
Business leader and author Harvey Mackay goes so far to say there are 66 things you should know about your customer, and none of them have to do with their property needs. They include things like sports affiliations, family member names, hobbies, education and much more.
These insights are often gained through prospecting, so what better time to record them? Here are some of our favorite ways to record this intel in Apto.
Use these features to catalog and learn about the people you connect with: Social links, Contact Groups, Description and Notes. Contact Groups, Description and Notes are great places to store personal insights. Use the former to do groupings that you plan to add multiple contacts to, and use the latter as a notes section to store things such as likes, affiliations and personal details. Notes enable you to add similar information that doesn't necessarily fit in a logged call or in the Description section. Each note also contains a time stamp that gives temporal context for later reference.
Open a Contact record and either click "Edit" to add information for all fields or double click on any of the fields mentioned above to add information for just that field.
Double clicking "Groups" opens Contact Groups, where you can pick from your already created groups or add new ones. To add a new one, simply type the group name and click "Create Group" (which appears once you've typed in the top entry form).
- Buyer's / Tenant's Needs
If you get beyond small talk and move to property needs, then you need a tool to store and manage those needs. That tool is not a spreadsheet. Apto has a feature called Buyer’s Needs / Tenant’s Needs that was developed for just this problem.
First things first; not every contact type has this feature. Buyer’s Needs are available for the Contact Record Type Principal, and Tenant’s Needs are available for the Contact Record Type Tenant.
Accessing and using these features on these contacts is simple. Find the related list for your subject contact at the top of the page, or by scrolling down the page, then click "New Buyer’s/Tenant’s Needs."
What happens when you call a property and owner just to find out that the very property you called about has been sold and is no longer in their portfolio? You log it as a comp.
Tracking this information not only helps you tee-up your prospect for the next engagement, but it also gives you new information that can be leveraged in client communication, market studies and valuations.
There are two places you should consider for tracking property transaction information in Apto; Properties & Comps.To learn more about Comps in Apto, check out Don't Compromise on Comps.