For the last half-decade, developments in technology tools for CRE have been coming at a rapid pace. New digital solutions are addressing problems we’ve faced for years, as well as new ones created by our changing industry. Adoption of appropriate devices and software improve efficiency, accuracy, security, access, and transparency.
CRM platforms, listing services, property management tools, and transaction management software have changed how we do business. Tools are available for handling contacts, scheduling, transactions, and property management tasks. Properties can be sold through crowdfunding. Digital tools streamline routine processes and enable customer service to reach levels that weren’t possible before. Here are some ways they do it.
Perhaps the most potent benefit of technology for our business is the enhancement of our ability to accomplish routine tasks more efficiently. Using software designed specifically for CRE, the time required to keep on top of these is greatly diminished. Platforms provide an array of services, so tools can be tailored to fit each client. Support helps to insure that issues with software will be addressed quickly, avoiding the delays that can occur with desktop applications.
Contact management allows for easy tracking of interactions with clients and partners, scheduling automatic communication as needed, and all of it can be shared and connected with relevant data, dates, and facts.
For some, the idea of sharing sensitive documents online seems like a security risk. Once you compare it with the security of storing these items on a laptop or individual desktop, it becomes clear that using cloud-based applications is truly a more secure way to operate. Laptops can be stolen; desktops crash; paper copies can be misplaced.
Cloud-based platforms specialize in securing data and have built in several layers of security. It’s their business. Only authorized users have access to documents stored in this way, and they have access any time, from any device. This is huge for productivity.
A small error can slow things down tremendously. Tracking down a miscalculation can cost valuable time, but human error doesn’t have to come into play. Utilizing digital tools not only speeds up gathering and generating information, it also lets you avoid errors in transcription and calculation. With that, clients receive information in a more timely way, deals are made, and profitability rises.
Perhaps nowhere has technology changed CRE more than in the area of access. Our ability to gather information on projects and properties globally has been a game changer. Listing sites give buyers access to properties across the country, and brokers can explore potential deals and analyze market conditions virtually anywhere. A new generation of investors is able to participate in CRE via crowdfunding platforms like FundRise, and even learn about off-market opportunities online.
Technology also gives us access to a mountain of data –“big data”-which informs decision-making and allows us to provide clients with an unprecedented level of service. With these tools, brokers take on a consultative role.
When documents are shared and transactions carried out online, transparency is enhanced. All those involved in a deal can have access to pertinent documents, correspondence, and contacts around the clock. Dated materials create a clear timeline of events and make everyone accountable, smoothing the way for completing tasks that required much more time without digital tools