Vice President, Investments
Peter Von Der Ahe + Partners
I work on a team of about 15 people, including eight brokers and seven support staff. Our decision to move to Apto was based on the product's ability to hit all three of our key objectives: increased productivity for agents and staff, expanded capability for tracking and reporting on the state of our business and building a technological infrastructure that would allow us to scale for years to come.
One challenge was getting users to capture cleaner data with less work. How could we streamline work flows and improve data integrity? And as our team and business grew, it exacerbated the problem of having a mishmash of spreadsheets, databases and random collections of technology. It was impossible to keep track of everything and extremely inefficient to maintain and scale. As we transitioned from a local SQL-based database product to Apto, we gained the ability to customize and with that, the ability to more effectively run our entire business. Incorporating most, if not all, of our business processes and keeping them all in one place allows us to spend more time talking to clients instead of tracking projects or having tasks fall through the cracks.
When we first installed Apto, we were focused on making day-to-day business as painless as possible. Now we’re looking for ways to do even more with it. Much of our activity crosses different categories in Salesforce: talking to a client about a listing, also talking about a product they are buying, etc. so it can be challenging to get it all straight. This is why we went with Apto, since 1) it was developed by a commercial real estate broker, and 2) it speaks directly to us. We sell investment real estate and Apto tracks our properties, proposals, listings, escrows, and sales comps as well as our client interactions. Essentially, “out of the box” it includes most of the functionality we would have had to build ourselves.
This is just the beginning. We now have an opportunity to scale that wasn’t clear before. Since launch, we have reduced the time it took to clean and improve our data dramatically. For brokers, the sales cycles are really long and we are working over the next quarter to roll out additional functionality like call scripting and automated lead generation. By automating our business processes, we can keep our staff lean and mean and allow key personnel to focus on revenue generating projects and larger marketing initiatives.
It's important to mention another element that makes Apto very powerful - the ability to add other apps from the appexchange. We are leveraging Apto’s capability by incorporating other apps like Cloud Extend, Drawloop, and Geopointe. Each of the apps integrates with the system and makes Apto exponentially more powerful in the same way great apps make smart phones more powerful.