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Realizing the Colorado real estate market

The companies cashing in on Colorado real estate boom


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Apto

Created by and for commercial real estate brokers, Apto is a web-based software platform for managing customer relationships, properties, listings, deals and back-office.

PIVOTAL MOMENTS: Apto raised a Series B round of $8 million in August 2015, allowing it to accelerate hiring and product innovation, as well as expand sales and marketing efforts and scale business operations.

DEFINING INNOVATION: After more than a decade working in the commercial real estate business, CEO Tanner McGraw was driven to create Apto in 2012, from inspiration to build a system that could mange the full lifecycle of the deal. 

THE DISRUPTION FACTOR: Apto enables an industry burdened by manual tasks and duplicate work to be more efficient and productive with cloud-based software that helps brokers manage information from disparate systems.

COMPANY CULTURE: Apto’s 78 full-time employees are encouraged to share ideas, no matter their level or tenure. Leadership includes a high proportion of women, including chief financial officer, vice president of customer success, director of people operations and vice president of sales. The People Operations team works hard to regularly gather employee feedback, recruit top talent, and make Apto a place where people are excited to come to work. Unique perks include unlimited time off, “Powder Days,” employee stock options and a dog-friendly office in LoDo.

GIVING BACK : Apto employees get paid time off for charity work, and the company has seen 100 percent participation in yearly volunteering efforts for organizations such as Habitat for Humanity.

ON THE HORIZON: Apto recently announced the launch of its first mobile app, available for iOS. This all-mobile experience offers commercial real estate brokers the ability to manage every aspect of their brokerage while on the go and out of the office. 


BombBomb

BombBomb makes it easy to use simple videos to build relationships through email, text and social media with tracking and analytics, including real-time alerts and relationship scores.

PIVOTAL ALTERS: In 2012, the company decided to shift its primary focus to the real estate industry, which changed its trajectory and set it up for greater success.

DEFINING INNOVATION: BombBomb views innovation as solving prospect and customer needs in new, efficient and profitable ways. The company’s real estate industry focus has driven its video enablement and tracking tools into several real estate CRMs. That focus also led to the creation of one-time and recurring revenue services specifically for real estate professionals – from deep training courses to entirely new subscription services.

THE DISRUPTIONL FACTOR: Video with BombBomb is quick, easy and personal, which changes agents’ relationships with the people in their database and changes the way brokers, owners or managers reach out to agents and potential recruits.

COMPANY CULTURE: One of the company’s aspirations is to “humanize the planet," which starts with the way employees are treated. BombBomb’s core values – relationships, service, humility, flexibility and fun – are tangible practices and differentiators. Public praise is a regular thing via The Awesome Office nomination process. “Fun” is practiced every day, as people take much-deserved breaks to play foosball and ping-pong.

COMMUNITY IMPACT: At Springs Rescue Mission, BombBomb assists with fundraising, outside clean-up and “Kitchen Takeovers,” serving food to the homeless. In addition, BombBomb has committed to a significant “family sponsorship” at Mary’s Home, a housing program for single mothers and children working to exit homelessness permanently.

ON THE HORIZON: Earlier this year, the company launched Prompt, a complete real estate email marketing system that seamlessly blends the convenience of automation with a personal, human touch.


Brinkman

Brinkman is a real estate development, investment and management company.

PIVOTAL MOMENTS: Founders Kevin and Paul Brinkman parlayed their experience in real estate and construction into a full-service integrated real estate company that offered commercial brokerage, construction, development, capital markets and real estate management under one roof. In 2016, the company separated its construction and development companies, shifting Brinkman Construction to a 100 percent employee ownership model and Brinkman to a mission-driven model to use business as a force for good.

DEFINING INNOVATION: Brinkman defines innovation as an ability to foster public-private collaboration to develop mutually beneficial, community-enhancing projects that otherwise would not work. Example: The Exchange is a redeveloped city block in downtown Fort Collins that repurposes existing buildings while introducing an innovative shipping container concept.

THE DISRUPTION FACTOR: Brinkman believes that community-enriching real estate stems from a long-term vision focused on more than just economics — working on the best projects, rather than the easy projects, which encourages others in the industry to follow suit.

COMPANY CULTURE: The company’s SHINE core values program inspires peer-to-peer acknowledgment of team members who embody core values. Employees who receive SHINE cards are recognized at quarterly company meetings and receive a grand prize when they earn all six core value cards. Professional development opportunities include an internal Women’s Leadership Program, $48,000 in training programs through the award of a statewide grant, a Management Development Program and one-on-one executive coaching.

GIVING BACK: Brinkman donates 10 percent of net income to like-minded nonprofits striving to positively impact families and communities. All employees receive paid volunteer time off.

ON THE HORIZON: The company is breaking ground on The Foundry in downtown Loveland, a public/private partnership that has been a vision of the city for more than a decade.

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Lisa Ryckman

Lisa Ryckman is ColoradoBiz's managing editor. Contact her at lryckman@cobizmag.com.

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