Executing a CRE deal from start to finish these days is a far cry from what it was even five years ago. From the variety of online mediums available to market properties to having the ability to sign legal documents electronically, all aspects of the business have been transformed by technology.
Technology’s goal is to make our lives easier as well as give us access to goods and services previously unobtainable. The same is true in commercial real estate. The rapid pace at which information is exchanged and the accessibility of such information is a significant factor in improving and streamlining the deal flow process. Technology mirrored after other industries, as well as new apps and platforms explicitly created for commercial real estate, is a stark contrast to the traditional methods utilized by CRE professionals in the past. Here’s a rundown of some game-changing technology.
Drones and 3D Imaging
Our ability to communicate property details via images has been revolutionized with the advent of 3D imaging and the application of drone technology to real estate.
3D images have a range of uses in CRE, but marketing is its most common application. They make it easy to instantly share 3D models and floor plans that do more than a verbal description ever could. These are also useful for planning renovations or new developments by allowing a potential client/buyer to envision the finished product. Sites like Floored offer interactive 3D models, video fly-throughs, and more.
Drone footage is a unique way to present visual information. It’s changing how CRE thinks about property tours and site selection. These “unmanned aerial vehicles” can be used to photograph properties from previously unavailable viewpoints. They provide a new perspective on building size and situation for buyers, whatever their geographic location.
Another potent tool that generates a wealth of data for CRE is sensor technology. The information they provide can be applied to tasks like site selection, property valuation, and market analysis.
Sensors that measure pedestrian or vehicle traffic accumulate data over time that provides useful information. It can be used in conjunction with transit data for an even more robust picture of a given property.
Sensors are also integral to the idea of “smart buildings.” Sensors can monitor everything from HVAC usage to moisture levels, and make properties more energy efficient.
Each of these tech developments is a part of the rapidly growing Internet of Things, which uses an army of devices to automatically and continuously gather useful data.
Customer Relationship Management (CRM)
Another technology development that is significantly impacting the deal-making process is the evolution of the CRM platform. Managing and tracking property listings, contacts, marketing data, and deal progress on a centralized platform eliminates redundant tasks and missed opportunities by increasing visibility to industry decision-makers that wasn’t possible not too long ago.
CRM platforms manage contacts and prospect lists and include detailed insight on their demographics, preferences, and past interactions. Many platforms can also facilitate lead generation and enable automated email. CREXi takes it a few steps further by offering our clients an extensive toolbox of innovative marketing and sales tools from which to choose, all complimentary for the user.
Another benefit of CRM is that it’s housed in the Cloud, so users don’t have to use valuable space on their hard drives, nor does it require users to download or install additional programs.
Most aspects that encompass a CRE transaction can now be handled online via CRM platforms. Owners, buyers, and brokers can interact in a secure environment, and track activity and interest in multiple properties from one centralized location. Once a deal is agreed upon, due diligence documents can be shared and updated instantly, decreasing the typical drawn-out turnaround time.
Another significant advantage of online transaction management is transparency. All players in a transaction can access up-to-date information on demand throughout the transactional process. Removing this often hidden layer from the proverbial playing field is a benefit to both buyers and sellers by allowing them to work smarter rather than harder.
CREXi users can see real-time updates on offers and the due diligence progress, as well as generate comprehensive reports containing complex data and analytics about a property. The timesaving power of this approach is incredible and promotes news ways of determining property value and stimulates idea sharing and collaboration.
This ever-changing technological landscape continues to prove that knowledge is power.