5 Free Tech Tools that Help CRE Agents Streamline Their Business

CRE pros are constantly moving and never seem to stop, whether in the office or not. The way these commercial real estate professionals do business has drastically changed in the last decade and now many tasks are streamlined using technology. Let’s take a look at seven tech tools that help CRE agents streamline their business.

Scannable

Scannable takes photos of paper documents and turns them into high-quality scans ready to send to clients and colleagues. The app recognizes the difference between a receipt and a business card and automatically crops and enhances the photo. One of the most exciting features of the Scannable app is how business cards can instantly transform into contact data with LinkedIn data.

DocuSign

This app allows CRE brokers to make documents official literally anywhere. The top eSignature app can help finish agreements in hours, not days and provides secure access, sends reminders and allows always-moving professionals to check the status of the signing any time. You can also embed electronic signatures into existing apps to speed up the workflow.

LeaseMatrix

LeaseMatrix is great for landlords, brokers, and tenants who want to compare and analyze lease terms to ensure the fairness of a deal. Conduct lease vs. buy analysis or record lease comps and the reports update automatically. This is an incredible time saver for brokers and CRE professionals.

Expensify

Expensify makes receipt tracking simple. The app automates expense reporting tasks in real-time and saves loads of time uploading and generating data. The app allows you to submit expense reports, track mileage, take photos of receipts and billable hours and so much more.

Skype

Skype keeps even the busiest CRE professional in contact with clients. Skype allows you to host face-to-face meetings with clients around the world from both your desktop and your mobile device. Skype offers free online calls and simple international calling. This helps cut travel for CRE professionals and helps to maintain better communication than just an email or a phone call.

My Life Organized

If you are a CRE professional who loves making task lists and checking off completed items, this app is for you. You can organize tasks by projects, break down large tasks into steps and track all of your progress. The app is also searchable and viewing can be customized.

The News Funnel

Don’t have time to read the news? The News Funnel is the app for you. Stay up to date with all of the latest commercial real estate news with a feed that features news from over 5,000 media outlets and 3,000 real estate companies. The app delivers real-time information about the real estate industry – all in your pocket.

ProspectNow is the most effective prospecting system in real estate and can help you expand your brand online. Claim a free trial today to see how our software can help you boost your sales.

3 Things CRE Brokers Can Learn From Predictive Analytics

It is certainly no secret that commercial real estate is an information-driven business. That being said, the industry is beginning to embrace predictive analytics – something that will change the way brokers close deals and will help them grow their clientele. Let’s take a closer look at three things CRE brokers can learn from predictive analytics.

Promotes Better Investment Decisions

Predictive analytics can show brokers where the next investment opportunities are and can help them decide on which to act upon and send to owners in order to make deals happen, and which may not be a good investment decision. Predictive analytics will aggregate data such as demographic shifts, cost of capital and workforce trends among other and brokers will be able to show owners how the purchase of a property would drive value and fit well into their investment model. Brokers can also determine which assets in an owner’s portfolio have maximized its value and should be sold.

Think Globally

Predictive analytics can encourage brokers to feel confident enough to think outside of just the local market and offer investors opportunities all over the world. Many brokers develop expertise surrounding their local market and advise clients on investments within this local market, but with predictive analysis tools, they are able to open up more opportunities in other markets for their clients because they have hardcore data to back it up.

Predictive analytics expand the scope of what brokers can accomplish, helping them secure more deals and become a more valuable asset to owners and investors.

Proactive Leasing

Predictive analysis can do wonders for investment ventures and it can also apply to leasing. Agency brokers can use predictive analysis to predict tenant behavior, helping them become more proactive in how they lease vacant space. Rather than making 20 cold calls a day searching for new tenants, they could focus on companies who are likely looking to move spaces based on the industry, employee headcount growth, and the behavior of firms in similar or the same industry under current market conditions.

The same goes for tenant retention – instead of waiting for a company to reveal that they are planning to move, the broker could discuss this sooner and start a discussion for what’s next in their plans to move spaces.

How ProspectNow Can Assist You

ProspectNow uses predictive analytics to identify properties that are most likely to be listed for sale, to be refinanced, or obtain a loan in the next 12 months before your competition has the chance. You will no longer be wasting your time or energy on marketing to property owners who have no intentions of selling.

The predictive algorithm looks at hundreds of data points every week on properties that are selling and then ProspectNow applies the characteristics of these properties that have recently sold to those that have not sold yet. This data will help keep you ahead of the curve and to have a leg up on your competition in order to land more clients and close more deals.

Start your free trial today!

4 Technologies CRE Brokers Need in 2017

The technological innovations that have occurred over the last few years have helped to make CRE brokers and agents more efficient than ever. These new technologies have given CRE agents the ability to store and transmit large amounts of data instantaneously, share it with an unlimited number of people, and quickly and effectively analyze the data. These recent innovations are quickly becoming some of the most important resources available to the CRE agents of today.

Being able to utilize all of the available tools can help to keep a commercial real estate team ahead of the curve, something that will help them to stay on top of market trends and continue to be a successful brokerage. Many of these new tools can help to decrease costs while increasing productivity – both of which are important to CRE brokers and property managers.

While there are a number of trends and advancements that promise to make 2017 a great year for CRE brokers, a few stand out as the most important tools in the business.

3D Imaging

Advances in three dimensional modeling technology have enabled real estate brokers to give their clients virtual property tours and include interactive models in their marketing schemes. These 3D virtual tours can help to give prospective buyers a feel for the property before they even set foot in the building.

In the past, this has been accomplished with 2 dimensional photographs, but being able do a virtual walkthrough of the property is vastly superior to the traditional method. This can help prospective clients narrow down their options in a short period of time when compared with the time wasted visiting unsuitable properties in the past.

Smart Sensor and iBeacon Technology

These sensors are an incredibly useful tool for anyone managing commercial properties – even when those properties are geographically distant from one another. They can track a building’s energy use and its flow of foot traffic and typical usage patterns. One way that this information can be used is to adjust the intensity of the overhead lighting based on the rooms current levels of light, increasing energy efficiency and decreasing costs. This information can also be used to better design future properties based on the way the current property’s features are being utilized.

Cloud Storage

The rising prominence of cloud storage has made utilizing and sharing data more efficient, with the stored files being more accessible to a larger number of people instantaneously. This technology is particularly useful when drafting contracts for the sale or rental of CRE. Instead of shuffling around time sensitive paperwork, each party involved can instantly access the document via cloud storage and use a virtual signature to approve of each portion.

Big Data

The term “big data” typically refers to an extremely complex collection of data that can be analyzed using computer software. These data sets would take months or even years to analyze by hand, but the new technological updates have allowed brokers to find patterns and trends in these large data sets quickly and easily. The data stored at ProspectNow can be used to predict who is likely to buy, sell, or refinance their properties based on historical data. This is a useful tool for CRE teams – knowing where to find your target demographic is half the battle -and big data can help to streamline this process.

5 Ways Technology is Fueling Increased Productivity in CRE

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.

Efficiency

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.

Security

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.

Accuracy

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.

Access

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.

Transparency

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