And I wanted to be a part of it.
I’d been in the CRM business since the early 90’s, and have led a number of public and private software companies in a variety of industries since. I’d founded two venture-backed technology companies that had successful exits. I was looking for the next big opportunity—and I’d clearly found it.
Apto had amassed a “who’s who” list of customers, both small broker teams and some of the biggest brokerages in the country. Marquee-worthy venture capitalists had already invested Series A & B capital, and the employees I met were high-potential individuals eager to make their mark in the startup world.
When I started we were making great progress. We just needed to find the breakout moves that could put us well ahead of the competition.
The first move was to follow a principle about as simple as what you’d learn watching Sesame Street. We would develop tools that brokers love to use.
We had a big head start: the product team had just launched Prospect & Nurture, a tool that greatly simplifies and streamlines the prospecting and relationship-building process for brokers. It was what Tanner had been envisioning since he was a broker at Marcus & Millichap years before: churning through calls, calculating his conversion rates, doing his best with Excel but still pulling his hair out over the lack of technology available to solve this seemingly simple need.
No other CRE tech company has anything like this. Our competitors are focusing on CRM, and we’re busy turning data into action.
But there was more to do. I’d seen too many software companies fall into the trap of making products for process, not products for people. No one likes to be managed, especially sales people, or in our case, brokers. I’ve never met a sales person who isn’t looking to cultivate relationships and find the shortest path to making money. We’d started to focus on that, but now we have our work truly cut out for us.
New integration partners, enhancements to the product, new workflows entirely...the name of the game is simplicity.
We have two key advantages in our goal to be the best CRE technology company in the world.
The first is our venture capital backing. Our investors believe in our potential to build a big company, which means that we can lever ourselves with the backing of the best private money and counsel in the industry. Many other companies choose to bootstrap, but it’s risky for brokers to rely on a company that can’t get funding, that’s never had to prove itself to smarter minds in the industry. I believe that breakout results come from taking risks and over-delivering on results.
The second advantage is our top-notch product team and people. We are able to invest disproportionately in product development to be the best for brokers. Our goal is to build tools brokers love, so this is just the beginning. Over the past few years, we’ve built up a stellar team of experienced engineers and product managers (in fact, they alone outnumber the total number of employees at other CRE tech companies) with a passion for disruption. You can take a look at our latest product developments and features to see what I mean.
This year is all about capitalizing on our advantages and scaling our proven successes. Apto is a special company, and I’m thrilled to be leading the way along with Tanner and our broader leadership team.
Angela Tucci is the CEO of Apto. She was most recently at CA Technologies, where she served as General Manager of the Agile Management Business Unit. She was one of the pioneers of the CRM industry in the early 1990s, and brings decades of experience as a proven leader in public and private software companies spanning a wide variety of industries. A veteran start-up entrepreneur, she also founded two venture-backed technology companies with successful exits.