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Client Segmentation

Apto enables you to create custom lists based on a broad set of criteria, allowing for targeted outreach to specialized groups. Depending on your specialization and prospecting strategies, you'll need to employ different data elements found throughout Apto. Once you've begun tracking these data elements you can then leverage them through data views to segment your database on high probability cohorts.

Find the cohort that works best for your strategy below, develop a process to begin collecting and cataloging the important data, and build lists to power your prospecting and nurturing efforts. You can read more specifics here

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Here are a few strategic call lists you should create.

Core clients

Relationships with previous clients should be consistently nurtured. Tracking and creating follow-up activities provides the opportunity to engage on previous or new opportunities.

Building lists of your core clients can be done many ways; Contact Group VIPs (or whatever you label them as), prospects you talk to regularly and people you've done deals with in the past. We figure since the latter has produced before, then they should be your top priority. And since you've closed deals with them in the past, they are safely stored away in your comps database. To collect a list of closed deals where you were the representative make sure you are entering the Buyer, Seller, Landlord and Tenant on your closed deal records.

Great news for those of you already doing this: Apto Prospecting Console automatically builds a call list with your core clients with a predefined 45 day touchpoint frequency to ensure you never lose touch.







The easiest way to begin your prospecting efforts is also one of the most obvious. You can carve yourself a niche by becoming an expert on certain industry or company types. Technology, advertising and media tenants are popular industries of focus for many brokers, especially in technology hubs like New York and San Francisco.

To segment companies by industry you'll need to ensure you are tracking their industry in the Company record within the Companies tab. To track a company's industry, select the appropriate one from the "Industry" dropdown menu and save.

Doing this regularly will result in a highly detailed database that can be leveraged to help you target clients and prospects with messaging that speaks directly to their needs.







Principals by market

As a market expert, you should have a firm grasp on the various geographies within it. Identifying your submarkets and what makes them unique helps you build compelling and defensible stories that help deliver value to your prospects and clients. As you build your database and capture location information, you should be putting that information to work to help identify and reach out to new business prospects.

This one is simple, but it can yield incredible results. Simply make sure you are entering your prospects location information. You'll be happy you did when you want to canvas a market or feature a new deal to the surrounding business. 







There is a higher probability of securing new business in a situation where the existing professional hasn’t executed. If you can track and estimate when those agreements expire, you have an interesting opportunity to take advantage of.

Once a new listing hits the market, you can easily estimate when the landlord/seller agreement expires based on your market’s typical representation agreement terms. The engagement to represent a seller or landlord is usually between six and 12 months. Your market may differ, and there may be legal considerations around the timeline for contacting those already represented. Plan your prospecting activities 45-60 days from the expiration. Then you can begin to form a relationship and understand if the client plans to continue the effort.

To create lists of on-market prospects, you need to be tracking on-market listings. Click on the Listings tab and create a new listing or open an existing one. Locate the "Expiration Date" field and make sure it's filled out. 







Then build an expiration date list that isolates the listings that are coming due in the near future.







Recent transactions

A property sale in commercial real estate is like lighting a beacon. Every broker who sees it is likely to try and take advantage of the event to build their business, and for good reason.

When real estate is sold, there are a number of interesting opportunities to consider. Sellers now have the proceeds from the sale and a substantial tax incentive (1031 Exchange) to redeploy that capital quickly. An organization that has decided to sell an individual asset may be undertaking a portfolio disposition effort. Similarly, a buyer in these transactions may have a larger acquisition strategy.

Understand who these players are so you can start building relationships.

Recent transactions are best tracked as comps. To track comps either work your deals through , or enter them in manually through the Comps tab. Either way, make sure you track the sale or lease date, the buyer, seller, landlord and tenant. To learn more about Apto's comps feature, check out Don't Compromise on Comps.

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Top owners

As you build your database, you will begin to notice trends in the data that you can act on. For example, if you find a contact with multiple properties in a given location—or with a large number overall—you will find more often than not that the contact is open to purchasing additional properties and/or selling their current assets.

To generate a list of top owners you have to start by using Apto's Ownership feature. To assign ownership to a property, open a Contact or Property, scroll down to the Ownership section and click "New Ownership."








Upon adding new ownership, Apto will automatically sum the number of properties owned by a contact and update a field called "# of Properties" on the Contact record. This field can be used to create a list of top owners based on the number of properties they own.








Principals with near-term debt maturity

With the short-term nature of commercial mortgages, property owners with debts nearing full term are in a unique position. Action at that time is not just a good idea, it’s a must.

Savvy brokers know the properties, the owners and the debt terms—and catalog them for strategic outreach at the right time. Regardless of the situation, if the owner is at the end of the term, you need to be very intentional in targeting them.

If you work for a firm with a full-service Capital Markets group, you have a high probability of providing a solution to such owners. If your team is investment sales only, then focusing on owners who are more likely to sell than refinance should be your top priority.

To generate lists of these types of clients in Apto, you'll need to pull in the Loan Maturity Date field into the Property tab. To learn more about bringing in fields, see our knowledge base article on Working with Page Layouts.

Once the field is available and you are tracking the dates, you can now build lists based on those dates.


Principals with debt greater than value

Whether due to a market downturn, a decrease in occupancy and thus net operating income (NOI), unrealized appreciation, or any combination thereof, refinancing can be very difficult if not impossible. Lenders won’t go near the asset as they don’t want to overextend themselves with a loan-to-value (LTV) that pushes their risk tolerance.

Owners of such properties should be at the top of your call list.

To track property value, debt, down payments and the like, be sure to be cataloging not only your closed deals, but the markets as well. This is done through the Comps tab. When logging a comp, pay close attention to all the details and be diligent in filling out everything of value.


Additionally, you can pull in some hidden fields on the Property record and actively update the values as your knowledge of a property evolves. To add the hidden financial fields click on "Edit Layout", locate the fields titled "Loan Term", "LTV", "Loan Principal", "Loan Balance" and drag them into the layout below. Once they have been added you can begin tracking these values and building lists based on them.


People who have owned for long period of time

Whether you are working with an experienced investor or a high net-worth individual, money talks. After owning a property for a length of time, there may be a lot of equity.

Prospect based on the last date of sale and talk with the client about how they can leverage the equity to invest in other properties and grow their portfolio.

To generate lists of these contacts, make sure you're tracking the Last Sale Date on a property from the Property tab. Better yet, start tracking comps in Apto and have it done automatically. To learn about this, check out Don't Compromise on Comps. From there you just need to build your list on all properties that have sold before a certain date (i.e. 12/31/2009). The end result, a shiny new list of owners who could benefit from your services.







Tenants with expiring leases

If you’re a tenant rep broker, tracking lease expirations should be a top priority. Whether you get this information from one of the various leasing data providers or you send a junior broker out to pound the pavement, this data can and should be leveraged to find new prospects. Reaching out to tenants nearing the end of their existing lease is the quintessential way to find new business.

To track lease expirations, enter the date in the Space associated with the Property record. Search for your subject property or open the Properties tab and locate the desired property. Once you've opened your subject property, locate the Spaces list, click "New Space" and fill out the current tenant and lease information. This will allow you to build list based on leases coming do.


Tenants paying above market rate

An expiring lease is likely your highest probability prospect, but what about tenants with a lease rate that’s above market rate? Such tenants are ripe for a conversation about their next move, regardless of the expiration date. Loosen up your lease expiration date range for these tenants and lead with the opportunity to save them money.

To build lists based on rental rates, fill out the Current Rental Rate field inside a Space record. Spaces are found on office, industrial and retail property records. They can be manually edited and they are also automatically updated when you create a lease comp.


Maintaining current lease rates through spaces and comps gives you the ability to build lists filtered by values that serve as indicators of likelihood to act.


Tenants on the market

Some businesses need to be found, others are looking to be served. The latter often simply sees a sign in front of a property you’re representing and gives you a call.

Ideally you can turn this into a new deal, but if the availability doesn’t work, you can take advantage of this time of need by documenting the client’s needs. Those needs can be used to build a deeper relationship and find other availabilities for the next go-round.

To track in-bound tenant inquiries, use Apto's Tenant Needs feature found on a Tenant Contact record. First create a Tenant Contact record, and then add a Tenant Need found new contact page.


Above-market vacancy

Buildings don’t always perform. Sometimes it’s a simple matter of supply and demand, and sometimes it’s long-term structural vacancy due to lagging maintenance or obsolescence.

In the event of a building that’s operating at an above-market vacancy rate, owners and landlords need to act to either fill those vacancies, dispose of the building or invest in new improvements. Regardless the situation, property owners in this position are prime targets for your services.

To build lists based on a property's occupancy, open a property record from the Properties tab. Locate the "Building Information" section and fill out the "Occupancy (%)" field.







Stay on top of vacancies and regularly update your Apto to ensure you reap the opportunity to engage the owner's who are ripe for such a conversation.








Expired or lost deals

Warm leads are incredibly valuable to your business development efforts. If you pitch someone but fail to win their business, they should go in your warm leads category. You could get a second chance if their broker fails to get the deal done. When this occurs, take advantage of the time to convince your prospect that you have what it takes to execute.

To generate a list of lost deals you first need to be tracking your deals in the Pitch/Proposal tab. Here you can manage the process of building out your presentation and pitching your proposal. While we hope you win all the deals you pitch, the reality is that you won't (...sorry). For those you don't win, change the Status dropdown to "Not Won" or "Dead", and then build a list of on those to check in periodically to see if there's new business to win.
















Equity build-up

Owners fortunate enough to build enough equity in their assets can leverage them for the acquisition of new ones. Investment sales brokers tracking property financials are in the advantageous position to target such owners, whose probability of redeploying their equity is extremely high.

Tracking property financials in Apto is done through both Properties and Comps. When filling out a comp record, be sure to fill out sale price, down payment, mortgage amount, NOI, CAP rate and cash-on-cash return. The build lists using search criteria that isolates your best bets on equitable properties.


Additionally, you can pull in some hidden fields on the Property record and actively update the values as your knowledge of a property evolves. To add the hidden financial fields click on "Edit Layout", locate the fields titled "Loan Term", "LTV", "Loan Principal", "Loan Balance" and drag them into the layout below. Once they have been added you can begin tracking these values and building lists based on them.


Company expansions, relocations, fundings

Everyone likes to be congratulated. Congratulations on your baby, your marriage, your new home, your promotion, your…relocation? Most definitely! Celebrating your prospects’ successes is a great way to open a door to new pipeline opportunities. Track events like company expansions, mergers and acquisitions, relocations, funding rounds and major company milestones and use them as reason to reach out. Start with a congratulations, then proceed to have a human conversation, not a sales one.

There a plenty of places to track information giving you insight into major notable company events, each with their own unique purpose. Be sure to track competitors on-market listings and assignments in the Listings tab and move them to the Comps tab once they close. That event is a reason to celebrate and offer your congratulations...and extend your brand.


Additionally, tracking non-property related milestones can help give you the context you need to insight interest when you are pursing their business. What's more, some of those milestones could be an indicator of future property needs. Keep an eye on the news through sites like Crunchbase to track funding rounds which very well could be the catalyst for new property needs.


Government RFPs

Selling is so much easier when your prospects solicit you to meet their needs. Wouldn’t it be nice if there were a marketplace for those looking for services that align with your specialty? Well there is: the Government RFP process, an invaluable source of new business opportunities.

While Apto doesn't have a specific place for tracking and managing RFPs, you can easily note whether a government entity has an open RFP by adding a new field to the Company record. To learn how to add custom fields, visit our Knowledge Base article Create New Custom Fields.