ALO Property Group Reveals How Rethink Supports Employee Engagement

Ralph Balber
ALO Propert Group: Full service

ALO Property Group — a full-service commercial real estate (CRE) and property management firm based in Indianapolis, IN — takes a unique approach to employee engagement.

“It’s because of what I learned from the mistakes I made in my previous careers,” said Ralph Balber, President of the firm. “I started ALO with the idea of loyalty and commitment, and I spent a lot of time personally training each and every one of these guys.”

ALO Property Group fosters loyalty among its brokers by:

  • Providing training and nurturing their careers.
  • Offering higher commission splits than national firms.
  • Providing the tools they need to do their best work.

“I’ve got all these people who are spending 40, 50 hours or more a week sitting here because I opened this up,” Ralph said. “That’s a lot of time out of their lives. Why not help make them successful? Why not make it fun? Why not make it exciting?”

Because of the firm’s commitment to its employees, when a broker approached Ralph about implementing Rethink — the dealmaking platform purpose-built for CRE — he knew he needed to listen.

“We were using another program, and it wasn’t right for us,” Ralph explained. “One of our guys did some research online, found Rethink, and told me ‘This is what we need.’”

That said, listening to his employees’ suggestions doesn’t mean he automatically does exactly what they ask.

And because of his previous experience with Salesforce, Ralph wasn’t sure he wanted to invest in Rethink’s Salesforce-based platform.

“At first I thought, ‘There’s no way I’m going with Rethink because I’ve had Salesforce at another firm, and no one used it,’” he said. “I spent thousands of dollars every single month, and no one used it.”

But when the broker pushed him on his assumptions, he took a deeper look.

“He came to me and said, ‘Trust me on this one.’ And I’ve always promised them I’ll give them the best technology,” Ralph explained. “They just have to tell me if we have something that’s not the best.”

So, Ralph and the rest of the team evaluated Rethink alongside other solutions — and Rethink proved to be the most valuable option.

“They wanted something that would make their lives easier, and that was Rethink,” Ralph said. “They sold me on the idea that if they save time, they have more time to sell. If they’re spending six hours a day filing and looking for information and Rethink can cut it down to two, they have four more hours to prospect.”

But what really impressed Ralph was Rethink CEO Vijay Mehra’s commitment to the product and clients.

“It’s exceeded expectations for sure.  I love it. I love everything about it.”

“When Vijay called me … I mean, that’s enough for me,” he explained. “That’s me. That’s what I do in my business. He obviously cares, and care means good things will happen. Everyone makes mistakes, but it’s how you handle it. And when he showed he cared enough to call me personally, that let me know we would be taken care of.”

Now that he’s using the product, he’s even more impressed.

“It’s exceeded expectations for sure,” Ralph said. “I’ve not personally done the listing side because I want to focus on prospects and tenant representation. But I’ve kind of taken over that, and it works. I love it. I love everything about it.”

Because Rethink is cloud-based, it allowed ALO to build a central repository, where every user can access the data and information they need.

“We’re accumulating the data we have so we can search it later and use it for our clients, which is huge for us,” Ralph said. “We’ve always been pretty good at collecting data, but we’ve never been good at saving it in a way where we can find it and understand it. This is a game-changer for us.”

Rethink also ensures Ralph and his team are staying on top of high-priority projects.

“I’m using the Action Plans so I know what’s next and what I need to do,” he said. “I get reminders that say, ‘Hey, Ralph. You have to make this call,’ or ‘Hey, you need to send this email out.’”

And for CRE leaders who are hesitant to switch from spreadsheets to Rethink, Ralph has a simple explanation for their reluctance: “They’ve never tried Rethink.”

“I’m awesome at Excel. I love Excel. I do everything in Excel,” he said. “But you can’t even compare Rethink to Excel. You cannot do what this does with Excel.”

The main difference between Rethink and spreadsheets? The increased firmwide collaboration.

“You can’t collaborate on Excel. Even if you use SharePoint or Dropbox, you can’t collaborate with people,” Ralph explained. “Forget outside the office. Even in the office, you cannot collaborate on deals with Excel like you can with Rethink, and you can’t store stuff on Excel that you can here.

“You can’t automatically upload comps in spreadsheets,” he continued. “And we used to do prospect lists through Excel. Every week, we’d send our clients prospect lists so they’d know we’re doing something for them. Now, I just print out the inquiries — Rethink automatically does it, and it looks beautiful.”

HEAR FROM MORE COMPANIES LIKE YOURS