Technology embraced by commercial real estate brokers and property management companies alike

Commercial real estate brokers are unlocking the benefits of mobile technology.

According to a National Real Estate Investor article, commercial real estate brokers and professionals are incorporating technology into their daily functions to improve client relationships, analysis and management.

"What we hope to use technology for is that we can provide better services for our clients," Mike Kram, president of Cassidy Turley, told NREI. "Not just for the purpose of deploying technology." Kramm notes that his firm is currently implementing a customer relationship management solution called eClient that will allow brokers to see with whom other brokers in the firm are working. "That is going to be a major improvement in our productivity, and also allow us to provide better client services in a more coordinated fashion."

Aside from CREs, small- and mid-sized firms see technology as a way to level the playing field and better equip themselves to compete with larger brokerages. Scott Burns, president of Wilson Commercial Real Estate, is employing technology that allows him to give clients 360 degree virtual tours of the 75 shopping centers in Wilson's portfolio. Burns notes that his firm is often overwhelmed by phone calls from people interested in seeing the space, and while prospective buyers are valued, he says access to a virtual tour eliminates less serious buyers and saves the time for his firm to court serious buyers, according the NREI.

Other increasingly popular technologies embraced by brokers are property information apps, allowing brokers to track down owners, identify investment sales or leasing opportunities, and provide easier access to reports and property listings.

Don't forget about property managers
Many software firms are paying attention to the needs of brokers and property managers, developing apps that streamline their operations.

One such firm, Inspect & Cloud, has produced property management inspection software and a mobile app enabling field inspectors to conduct property inspections using their smartphone employing touch check boxes, auto text comments, and photos to create an organized professional report. This report can then be accessed anywhere online as needed, to view, print, or email the report directly to the property owner on the spot. Brokers and owners can manage their inspectors instantly by viewing what inspections have been completed on a map, at what time the inspector completed the report and long the inspection took to complete.

"The beauty of this feature is that the information is automatically emailed to the property manager on a weekly basis," Gilbert Quinones, RE/MAX broker and property manager, told the source. "This really makes it easy for the property manager, and the price is actually very competitive. It costs you more not to have it."

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