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Mapping Out Success With Colliers International

A global commercial real estate company differentiates itself from competition with geolocation

Google Maps integration in Salesforce showing properties, leases, and sales.

Problem: A CRM That Didn't Do Enough

Everyone knows the three most important factors in real estate: location, location, location.

Location has also been a key factor in Aptaria's work with global commercial real estate services company Colliers International – not because we have an office near theirs, but because our integration of location data into their CRM has had a significant impact on their business over the past three years.

Colliers Washington, D.C.-based Government Solutions team, which focuses on the vast array of government properties, was using Salesforce in 2011, but realized that it could get much more out of the platform. Executive Vice President Kurt Stout, whose team offers leasing, investment sales, property management, appraisal and tax appeal services, told Aptaria that he wanted to integrate data regarding government buildings and leases into its CRM. Stout also wanted to link that data to property owners and tenants who were already in their CRM.

Stout also wanted the work done by a development partner big enough to have the needed depth of experience, "but not so big that we would get 'lost in the machine.'"

Action: Google Map Integration

At the recommendation of its Salesforce rep, the Colliers Government Solutions team contracted Aptaria for the project.

Aptaria developed a solution that gave Colliers the ability to track owned properties, leases and sales in their CRM and integrated Google Maps into the app. Colliers staff now uses the map functionality and its geocoding features to define the borders of a government real estate opportunity for clients or potential clients.

"Real estate is very location-specific, so a lot of our efforts have centered around mapping and geocoding," Stout said. "Aptaria built much of this from scratch and we use it every day. The mapping features add a 'whiz-bang' feel to our database, but they are also incredibly useful."

Result: An Industry-Leading Property Database

Colliers has seen two key benefits from this work, Stout says. One is the ability to differentiate Colliers from competitors by providing a truly integrated platform of services focused solely on government real estate. The second is the innovative research and knowledge leadership Colliers has been able to produce in the government real estate sector, thanks to its industry-leading property database.

"We just keep evolving, and the nice thing about having Aptaria as a partner is that they've come to know us and our business, so we tap them as we need them," Stout says. "We've been doing that consistently for the last three years. … When we saw the results of what we could do, we kept coming back for more. We clearly overspent our original budget beyond anything I could possibly have anticipated, but we did it because we were getting value and seeing results."

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"Aptaria's disciplined approach helped us harness the full power of Salesforce."
Kurt Stout, EVP Government Solutions, Colliers International
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