Shan Wedgwood has been a broker in Sacramento for four years. He specializes in apartments and limited-service hotels in the Northern California market.
I’m on a four-person team here in my office and two of us are Apto users. There are also other teams in the office that use the software as well. Prior to purchasing Apto, I was using a combination of Excel and Outlook.
This is a demanding business and I work long hours, so there’s not much time to go through a spreadsheet and try to keep it clean. Our company also has an internal Salesforce solution, but it wasn’t fitting the bill for what I needed. It did a fine job organizing my data, but not necessarily putting that data to use. When I first took a look at Apto, the mapping functionality and its news feature were really intriguing. I like to work visually instead of looking through Excel spreadsheets, and I really liked that you could make call lists off of a map view.
I like to work visually instead of looking through Excel spreadsheets, and I really liked that you could make call lists off of a map view.
Fast forward to today and I have Apto open all day every day. When I first signed on, I sent my data over to the Apto team and they were able to put 3,000 records into the system for me very easily. Now, when I look up contacts in CoStar or LoopNet, it’s quick for me to add them one by one to Apto. Since I’m already using a combination of different tools like CoStar and LoopNet, plus LexisNexis and Landvision, it’s really nice to have all of that data organized in one place in Apto where I can actually use it.
I don’t understand how a commercial real estate broker could not be using a contact management system like Apto today, especially with the ease and power of using visuals. I really like the polygon tool within the mapping feature. Seeing where your property is within a radius and creating a call list from there is huge. Plus, you can see the history of interactions you’ve had with a particular contact. I don’t see how people could have that depth of information and context with Excel only.
Like any new software, there’s a learning curve with Apto. You have to get used to how it’s set up and how different records relate to each other. However, once you’re up and running, it will make you so much more efficient. Not to mention, the Apto team has been great to work with. Any time I have a question, the Customer Care team will hop on the phone with me and walk me through how to do something or send helpful videos.