Are you ready to be a part of a digital transformation in commercial real estate (CRE)? If your answer is yes, then great! It’s important to be aware of the latest CRE technologies so that you can decide what’s best for your business and discover tools to give you an edge over the competition. A pen and paper or a spreadsheet will only get you so far. Today’s technologies will help you stay on top of things as you grow and scale your CRE business.
If you’re not sure whether you want to get involved in new and ever-changing technologies, we get it — change is hard! We understand that you’ve been successfully running your commercial real estate business using the technology you already have. However, as new CRE technologies develop, there’s a whole new set of tools at your disposal. We strongly encourage you to give newer technologies a chance. Here’s why:
1. Cloud-based software makes information easily accessible
Do you ever struggle to access necessary information? Maybe one of your investors needs to know how their investments are performing, but you can’t find the documents you need in order to crunch the numbers for them. Or maybe you need to know the terms of a lease on the spot, but the lease is sitting in your desk drawer in your office on the other side of town. Whether it’s a misplaced file folder, a disappearing document or excessive reliance on a team member to remember certain information, we’ve all been there:
With today’s technology, it’s easier than ever to keep all your crucial information centralized in one place. You can organize and access your portfolio data, tenant information, budgets and lease terms all in one place. With cloud-based technologies, you can even access documents and information from any device.
Having your information easily accessible can save time, which is important when tenants and stakeholders are waiting on you. It also helps with collaboration, because everyone on your team can access information when they need it without having to rely on others.
To get started using cloud-based software, you simply have to find one that meets your needs and import your data. Set it up so that you can reach it from your various devices (e.g., your work computer for when you’re in the office and your phone for when you’re out and about).
2. You can keep communication organized
Have you ever been in this scenario? Someone from your team speaks with a tenant — let’s say the tenant is discussing whether or not they intend to renew their lease in the coming months. Your team member goes on vacation the next week, and you’re wondering whether the tenant is happy in their current lease or not, but you can’t easily find out without repeating the conversation with the tenant.
Now, there are easy-to-use programs that can help you manage tenant relationships in a variety of ways. Your team can quickly and easily record conversations with tenants in a centralized tenant management platform. When combined with friendly and caring management, these types of tools can help your business build better relationships and increase renewal rates and tenant retention.
There are many options for tenant management software, and a simple online search should give you a great place to start. If you have a lot of tenants, this can be a game-changer.
3. You can get automated alerts when something requires your attention
When you’re managing several commercial real estate properties, it’s easy to miss things. Whether it’s a missed rent escalation payment or an imbalance in your real estate portfolio, you need to stay on top of all the small and large issues that require your attention — no matter how many properties you manage.
With today’s technology, you can receive timely, helpful alerts and reminders. With systems like this, you’ll never have to wonder when lease escalations are due or loans are coming up for renewal. This technology allows you to stay in control of your fast-moving business without stressing about the tasks you may have forgotten.
When researching real estate analytics tools, make sure you settle on a solution that provides automated alerts and reminders.
4. You can easily collect and view data to make future predictions
In the past, many landlords had their important information stored either on paper or in disconnected files, making it hard to look at all their data as a whole. And even today, with QuickBooks and other accounting software, most landlords lack the specific algorithms and tools that they need to glean valuable data that would help them make predictions and plans for the future of their CRE business.
Along with keeping your data in a cloud-based centralized location, you should look for CRE analytics software that will let you look at all your data as a whole. When doing your research, we suggest that you schedule a demo (if possible) to see just how your data can be visualized. Is the data organized in a helpful, informative way? If so, that may be the tool you need to better your business.
5. You can focus on growing your CRE business
Today’s software can keep you organized and efficient. It can make it quicker and easier for you to access the necessary documents and data. It can make team collaboration easier. It’ll automatically alert you when there’s an issue that needs your attention, whether that’s a lease renewal, a problem with your portfolio or anything else. In short, CRE software can automatically take care of things that you used to have to manually take care of.
When you automate certain tasks, you can keep your mind and energy focused on what really matters to your business. You won’t get bogged down by the details. You won’t get distracted by the mundane day-to-day tasks. You can keep your sights set on scaling your CRE business. Forbes Technology Council is an invitation-only community for world-class CIOs, CTOs and technology executives.
Written by Uriel Barillas
Co-founder and CTO of STRATAFOLIO, an asset management, automation and analytics company servicing the commercial real estate industry.https://www.forbes.com/sites/everbridge/2019/12/16/peace-of-mind-in-a-risky-world/