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Resources

Welcome to the Smart CRE BrokerResources Page, a placethat you can always come to when you want to discover tools and products that will help you be more efficient, productive and creative in your commercial real estate brokerage activities. The links shown on this page will growas I learn more, and you will see that throughout our content we will refer you to this page quite often. If you come across a tool that you find useful in your business please send me an email so that I can check it out and possibly add it to this page. I recommend bookmarking this page so that you can check back often and see what’s new. Enjoy!

Disclosure: Please note that some (but certainly not all) of the links below are affiliate links, meaning that I will earn a commission should you decide to make a purchase. There is no additional cost to you, It is important that you understand that I only list links to companies here that I have had some experience with, and I recommend them because I have found them to be helpful and useful. I do not and will not list a link here because of any commissions I may make if you decide to purchase something. Please do your own research on these products and services to make sure that they are something you want and/or need before making any kind of purchase. Do not spend your money on anything you see on this page unless you feel they will help you be a better commercial real estate professional.

Training and Education

Audible.com

Feeding your mind with useful information is something that should be a lifelong endeavor. In this age of information overload, Audible.com is a really efficient way to learn while you're on the go. I listen to books while I work out and when I am driving. They have a great subscription program and an incredible inventory of material that would be useful in keeping you motivated and knowledgeable.

Smart CRE Broker Book Club

Knowledge is power and these are books that I personally recommend to keep you on a path of personal and professional growth. Check here often for new additions.

CCIM

Earning the CCIM designation can give you that prestigious edge and increased credibility in the market. They also offer an excellent curriculum for learning the technical nuts and bolts of financial models in the business.

BRIAN TRACY INTERNATIONAL

The productivity strategies and overall motivation that I have learned from reading and listening to Brian Tracy over the years has been invaluable. He offers the most concise and effective methods for improving yourself and how you do business of anyone I know. Click the link to get a 10% discount.

Marketing and Branding

DreamHost

There are lots of web hosting companies out there but I like to keep things simple. I use DreamHost for most of my websites because I can get everything set up and running without being a “techie”. This is the service I recommend and you can see how easy they are to work with in my video “How to Get a CRE Website Up and Running In 30 Minutes Or Less”.

BlueHost

Bluehost is another great hosting service that is affordable and easy to use. I use Bluehost for some of my other sites and I’ve found them to have excellent customer service. Check them out.

Lead Pages

This is a little known gem of technology I discovered that can be really useful in your commercial real estate business. LeadPages lets you easily create a page that you can use to gather and database prospect names and email addresses, announce new listings, do a “count down” for a call for offers and many other things. I put together a short tutorial on how to use it here: USING LEADPAGES TEMPLATES IN COMMERCIAL REAL ESTATE BROKERAGE.

Theme Forrest

Using Wordpress is pretty easy if you don't want to hire someone to create a website for you. They have a limited number of free themes but if you really want to make a good impression you need to spend a few bucks on a premium theme. Theme Forrest has the most diverse  and easy to search inventory of professional themes that will make your site look awesome.

Dollar Photo Club

Dollar Photo Club is an awesome service for using inexpensive but dynamic images in your marketing materials and on your websites. It is exactly what the name implies and these great photos are only a buck apiece.

IStockPhoto

Occasionally you will want to add an image to a blog post or just to spruce up your site. The easiest and safest way to put something impactful on your site or in a post is to use iStockPhoto. This allows you to find just the right image or even video to make an impression. Pretty affordable but it will cost you a few bucks to make your site look top notch.

99 Designs

If you need a logo, flyer, or even your website professionally designed, this is the place to go. It is a really cool process whereby you describe what you want and you get designers competing to do the work for you. If you'd rather leave the creative to the right brain types, 99Designs is a must.

Property Blast

There are several email marketing services for commercial real estate out there but I have had the best luck with PropertyBlast.com. They are affordable and easy to use.

iContact

One of the most powerful forms of marketing your listings and your brand is through a well thought out, PROFESSIONAL email marketing campaign. No Spam here. Once you build a working database, using iContact to email new listings, announcements, etc. is super effective. The tracking and analytics are second to none and they have a number of great templates you can use.

PRWeb

A quality press release is so much better than an ad because it reads more like “news”. You should be constantly putting out press releases and the easiest way to do that is by using PRWeb. You write the copy and control the message and PRWeb makes sure it gets out there to the right sources who will spread the word. Fantastic resource and very affordable.

VideoHive

VideoHive is a great site that provides video templates that I use to promote listings in a more dynamic way. I talk about them in my blog post 5 Tips for Using Video to Market and Brand in Commercial Real Estate. You will probably want to get a professional to edit the video so that it comes out great, but it is a much simpler process if you use one of these templates.

Productivity

Drop Box

Drop Box is a cloud based storage and file sharing system I use Drop Box to get access to documents, pictures, and other files from any device, anywhere, anytime I need them. You can also share large files like Offering Memorandums or video files without the hassle of emailing them. They offer a free subscription for a relatively small amount of storage and more storage for a monthly fee.

Evernote

I love Evernote and I use it almost every day. Back in the day, I used a voice recorder when I was driving properties to record phone numbers and my observations, I used a camera to take pictures and of course I had a pad to scribble endless notes. Now I can do everything in Evernote and search the information easily. This is an awesome time saver and helps manage the mass of information we gather in the commercial real estate business.

RoboForm

I don't know how anyone lives without a Password Management & Storage system and I think RoboForm is the absolute best one out there. It keeps the sites I need to log into more secure because I can use obscure passwords without having to remember them. It also saves time because it automatically prompts you to save the login info and auto fills for you when you visit the site. And it works on any mobile device as well. I don't know what I would do without it.

Stamps.com

Even with email and text, we still have to send snail mail on a regular basis. Time is money in commercial real estate and buying stamps or dealing with the local post office is not what we need to be doing. Stamps.com is a cost effective way to get the job done and save time. They even have a new product called PhotoStamps that allow you to personalize your stamps. Very cool.

CalenMob Pro App

If you use something like Google Calendar or Outlook this is a great app for consolidating all of your scheduled events into one place. It automatically syncs your calendars so you can see what you have on your schedule just by pulling up one calendar on your smartphone.

750words.com

There is something very therapeutic about getting your thoughts down on paper (or on a screen in this case). 750Words.com is a free simple site that you can go to and just dump all of the thoughts and ideas that are in your head down. The site also analyzes what you right and gives you some interesting feedback. You'll be surprised at the interesting ideas you come up with if you use this site every day. It's fun too.

Tools of the Trade

Loopnet

Loopnet is the go to source for listing and searching for commercial real estate property for lease or for sale. They have expanded their services and subscription options so get familiar with what they offer and only sign up for what you need.

CoStar

If you have the budget for it, CoStar is the Rolls Royce of property data services. They provide excellent comp data as well as names and contact info for buyers and sellers. Not cheap, but if you are active and serious about your CRE business it is worth the cost.

REA

REA is the CRM system I have used for years. It is commercial real estate specific and you can make it as complex or simple as you'd like. It is relatively affordable and if you take the time to learn all of the various features you can utilize it will become an invaluable tool for your business

Apto

Apto is an up and coming CRM for commercial real estate. I like the cloud aspect of it and if a monthly subscription is easier to handle Apto offers that.

Cameras

No one in commercial real estate will deny that great photos (and now video) are vitally important to marketing your listings. Can you use your smartphone for property pictures and videos? Sure but I don't recommend it. Invest in a versatile digital camera that also shoots HD video to set yourself apart as a pro. I use the Canon SX230 which you can get here:

Realty Track

RealtyTrac is the go to source for foreclosures in real estate. This is still fertile ground and will always be a source of business if you choose to cultivate it. RealtyTrac is the tool you need to thrive in this sector.

CRE Firms

I've used CRE Firms to build and enhance my database of properties and contacts. These guys do a great job and for the money, it's a huge time saver and a great resource. Free trial so check it out.

Career Direction

Monster.com

If you are either looking to change firms or looking to hire an assistant, Monster.com is one of the largest sources for talent out there. I've tried all of the major recruiting sites but Monster.com seems to generate the best results. It is also very user friendly and reasonably priced.

Resume' Edge

If you are just starting your career in commercial real estate or need to generate a professional bio, it is worth the investment to have it professionally written and designed. Resume Edge is a Professional Resume writing service that does just that. They actually consult with you and craft the image and message that sheds the best light on you and your qualifications.

Resume' Rabbit

Resume' Rabbit is a pretty cool idea and a great way to source a job if you're looking. They are a Resume' Broadcasting Service that takes your resume and posts it to as many as 86 job placement sites with the click of a button. Check them out if you are on the job hunt.

Virtual Assistants & Other Support

Elance

You may have heard a lot about outsourcing and there are definitely tasks and services you can use overseas providers for in the commercial real estate brokerage business. At Elance, you can post a “job” such as web design, internet marketing, data base management or other administrative tasks. Providers will contact you from all over the world and compete for the job at hand. This is a great way to leverage your time so that you can focus on making money in your brokerage business

Fiverr

Fiverr.com may be one of the coolest sites ever. If you are like me, you'll be amazed at what you can get done for 5 bucks! I've used Fiverr.com to get marketing pieces done, research, voiceover for my podcasts, boosting your social media activity, organizing data and much more. WARNING: If you visit Fiverr.com, you may become addicted!

Miscellaneous

Hotels.com

When you have to travel booking your hotel online is a breeze with Hotels.com. Their site is mobile friendly so you can even book a room while you're on the road if need be. I use them whenever I travel for business or pleasure.

Legal Zoom

The commercial real estate business by its very nature involves adhering to industry specific legalities. You may wish to operate as a corporation or LLC or you may need other legal services. Hiring a lawyer may be the way to go, but you may be able to go through LegalZoom.com and accomplish what you need for a fraction of the cost. I have used LegalZoom.com for a number of legal tasks and have never been disappointed.