Making Sure ‘Everything Is Tied Together’ for Colliers Government Solutions
Commercial and government leasing expert relies on Aptaria’s solution to differentiate itself from competitors
It’s one thing to have the information. Making that information make sense and finding the opportunities embedded in the data requires a robust, flexible and fool-proof system.
For Colliers, Salesforce has been the CRM of choice throughout the company’s global operations. But the Government Solutions team needed more — and since 2013, that’s exactly what Aptaria has delivered for them.
The Government Solutions team is based in Washington, D.C. and offers leasing, investment sales, property management, and project management to owners or government-leased property, as well as real estate consulting services to select federal agencies. That work requires the team to gather incoming information from agencies, property owners and managers, public records, and other sources.
“Our goal is to have everything tied together,” says Keith Lavey, EVP of the Government Solutions team.
The solution Aptaria developed for Colliers Government Solutions helps achieve that goal. It uses geospatial data to surface key information about commercial real estate properties in a Google Map embedded directly in Salesforce. The mapping feature allows the team to sift through property, lease and sale data quickly and make sound business decisions.
The team uses the mapping tool for a variety of purposes for clients and potential clients. In a single search, they can define the borders of a real estate opportunity, call up property image files, documents, and all the attributes that tell the history of a property, including past and current tenants and owners.
The Aptaria solution also gives Colliers Government Solutions needed insights. The team can forecast needs as well as match properties to tenants and investors in response to current usage.
Adding geolocation data and mapping to an already information-rich CRM has become a key differentiator: What could be a long gray list of addresses becomes a bird’s-eye view of the market.
“The Google Map provides us with an additional feature that visually displays our data,” Lavey says. “Aptaria integrated the ability to filter data displayed on the maps based on a variety of fields, including building characteristics and lease data, which has proven to be very helpful.”
The Salesforce-powered CRM that Aptaria delivered to Colliers Government Solutions has been a critical part of its business for a decade. But Colliers’ focus is on real estate, not on the business of maintaining and updating a software platform. So when Salesforce added a new level of user control to its CRM offerings with the launch of its Lightning Platform, Colliers Government Solutions looked to Aptaria to manage the rollout.
The Lightning platform makes Salesforce’s user interface (UI) more modern and efficient, driving benefits in productivity, customer service and internal operations.
For Colliers Government Solutions, Lightning has given them more flexibility in creating reports, graphics and presentations. Communication is more detailed and at scale, providing clarity.
According to Cecilia Kane, Client Services Coordinator, more sophisticated reporting is a key Lightning benefit: “The level of customization is unique. This has really been curated to how we use Salesforce, making minute changes that make a big difference.”
And, importantly, Aptaria was able to add Lightning’s suite of services without disrupting day-to-day business.
Aptaria has continued to support the Colliers Government Solutions team with new features and fixes. It’s a truly integrated platform that provides the answers to the team’s exact range of needs.
For Lavey and his team, one key, internal benefit is the seamless experience: “It can be hard to tell where Salesforce ends and Aptaria begins,” he says.
But another benefit helps the team continue to be leading government real estate experts.
“The ability to run detailed reports and present our data in an efficient manner continues to demonstrate how we can provide solutions and valuable information to our existing and prospective clients,” Lavey says. “With Aptaria’s help, we built a one-of-a-kind system to provide to our clients the highest level of service in support of their government real estate activities.”