Modern marketing is less about traditional advertising and more about creating content. The benefits are numerous: SEO, website traffic, thought leadership, and unique branding. The problem is, there is a lot of content floating around that seems to regurgitate the same themes. This goes agains maybe the main goal of truely good content, to add value to the audience.

Commercial real estate CRM Apto has launched its own creative and inventive new content initiative unlike anything else in the industry. They have teamed up with our very own Franco Faraudo to publish a speculative fiction series about the future of the relationship between offices and their tenants. Their marketing manager Elizabeth Knight answered some questions about thier new series Future Office in our latest dive into the world of CRE content creation.

Q. There has been quite a bit of good content coming out of your site, how has that helped your business?

Our company mission is to provide expertise and knowledge to the industry, and our content directly supports that goal. We want to provide brokers with something of value whether or not they use our technology. Of course, content strategy is also a long-term way to generate business, and we’ve seen great results from that through website traffic and SEO rank, demo requests, lead nurturing, etc. But it starts with providing value.

Q. One of the new content initiatives you have is this new science fiction series, Future Office. How do you think it will help people envision the future of real estate?

We wanted to have a little fun and get people thinking beyond the normal trends and predictions pieces. Driverless cars, AI, drones…all these things are here in some form and are becoming more ubiquitous, but we wanted brokers to think about the people involved and why relationships will still play a central role in how business is done. The marketing team at Apto loves to read, and we believe fiction is one of the best ways to think critically about the future.

Q. How do you as a company plan for changes and predict future trends?

We’re constantly reading, talking to people in the industry, and staying on top of CRE tech trends in general. We try to vary our content sources–reading the news, CRE blogs, company reports, etc. And of course, we talk to brokers and CRE professionals every day and get their feedback on what’s happening in their business and what they’re seeing.

Q. When is the next chapter coming out?

Soon! It’s written, we just need to illustrate some of it and get it on our editorial calendar.

Q. What are some of the themes that it will explore?

The next episode dives into the individuals in the coworking space a bit more, covering the personal and professional data that pervades our lives and dictates our actions. Yet even despite that abundance of data, there’s still a strong need for intuition and emotional intelligence.

Q. How has the response been?

It’s been really positive! People are a bit surprised but definitely interested. We’ve seen good traffic and are continuing to spread the word.

Q. Everything seems to be changing quickly in commercial real estate and a lot of new technology is out there waiting to be adopted. How what techniques can the real estate industry use to try and predict what is next?

Read, read, read! As we mentioned above, read a lot of different sources and incorporate different media into your routine (podcasts, blogs, reports, news, etc). And talk to people who are smarter than you and do different things than you and work in different industries. We go to events like CRE // Tech Intersect, CRE.tech LIVE, and Disrupt CRE to connect with the tech community and stay on top of the latest innovations, for example. The more information you consume (and consume critically and consciously, I should add), the better prepared you’ll be for what’s next.