Tech Tools for CRE Professionals: Stop Burning Time & Money
Most commercial real estate professionals embody the motto “work smarter, not harder.” Online tools help alleviate the painful routine work of responding to opportunities and sharing information. The many tools needed to streamline workflow create a frustrating time-consumption of multiple platforms, log-ins, and processes to accomplish one task.Using individual tools to complete a suite of tasks becomes extremely difficult; however, most CRE professionals learn quick-cuts or hire extra staff to help them manage their tasks. Whether the tasks are managed by adding steps to complete the task of adding more personnel, the investment in efforts, and loss of efficiency snowballs into hours per day and days per year in lost productivity and delayed responses.
Technology Tools for Commercial Real Estate Professionals
The truth is that there is no shortage of tools for commercial real estate professionals...and that is part of the problem. Most tools used by commercial real estate professionals - including asset managers, portfolio managers, service providers, operations, and sales/marketing fill one piece of the puzzle. With goals of providing file access, housing video and 3D tours, providing documentation, and collecting marketing and sales materials, there is not an easy way to pull all of these tasks into a team environment for all stakeholders.Here are some of the most commonly used tools by CRE professionals:
File & Access Sharing Tools for CRE Professionals
The ability to access files and share between stakeholders is at the heart of every commercial real estate business. An intuitive user experience that allows you to share from your desktop or phone is even more powerful. These are some of the leading platforms in this category for real estate professionals:
DropBox is the leader in storing documents for access by invitation or open permissions. Often, the DropBox platform is integrated into other platforms to make uploads easier and storage safer, but it can be used as a standalone cloud-based storage solution.
Box adds a teamwork component to file sharing with workflows. With a project management feature, Box gives teams the ability to securely share documents and comments between collaborators to streamline writing, editing, and commenting.
HoloBuilder is most used in the construction industry to securely upload and share documents, drawings, and files. The biggest benefit of HoloBuilder for the construction industry is the digital record accessible for interested stakeholders to check on the status of the building and track progress notes.
Video & 3D Tour Sharing Tools for CRE Brokers
Commercial real estate deals often turn on the ability to show instead of telling the features of a building. Videos and 3D tours give real estate professionals and buyers the opportunity to virtually walk around the building without leaving their desks.Here are some of the standout platforms in this category for commercial real estate:
Matterport is the leader in 3D software and virtual tours for commercial real estate. With special 3D cameras, real estate professionals can use Matterport to create virtual tours - with measurement capabilities - to show off a property to potential tenants, service providers, or operations managers.
YouTube is probably the most known video sharing platform for all industries and the second largest search engine on the planet. Therefore, videos get more opportunities for exposure and sharing. Unfortunately, the large audience also makes YouTube a crowded platform for everyone with a sales pitch. The ability to embed in websites and share videos from links.
Vimeo is a flexible, subscription-based platform in which hosts videos from all industries. The videos on Vimeo tend to be more professional due to built-in editing and transition tools. The ease-of-use allows subscribers to quickly create and share links to content.
Documentation Tools for CRE Portfolio Managers
There will always be a need for documentation in the real estate industry. From contracts to specs to reports, there is no limit to the number of documents produced at every step in the lifecycle of a building. Here are some of the most familiar tools in this category for CRE:
Microsoft Office is a popular spreadsheet and word processor platform used by many commercial real estate professionals due to comfort with the features and tools. The issue is that documents are hard to share and inefficient for team environments.
Google Drive is the answer to the teamwork and collaboration issues experienced by Microsoft Office users. With a comparable set of features, Google Drive gives users a centralized area to create and share documents with others. There is a small learning curve with Google Drive, but more companies are adopting this platform for large teams due to price, mobility, and collaboration features.
Adobe PDFs created a convenient way for users to lock down their content and securely send documents; however, these security features make PDFs hard to share and difficult to edit without additional permissions and software platforms. What PDFs offer in fixation of information and editing - most users find it frustrating overall when they need to change something in the document.
Building Design Sharing Tools for Commercial Real Estate
Design documentation is a special category for commercial real estate. Floor plans, interactive digital models, and drawings fall into this category because these materials often need specific viewers, software, and licenses. These are some of the most known CRE platforms in this category:
AutoCAD is an accepted industry standard in construction, design, engineering, and operations industries. Although AutoCAD is a powerful tool for viewing floor plans and drawings, the license is expensive for each user and those who receive the documents need to have a license to view.
Revit takes AutoCAD to a new level with interactive tools that allow operations and development CRE professionals to find easy answers. If an operations department needs to know about the size of a stairwell or the positioning of the columns in a building, then project managers can easily use Revit to find the answers needed to avoid costly mistakes.
Point Clouds gives users - particularly those in the construction or design industry - the ability to input and store raw data points. The benefit of Point Clouds is that large scale projects can be tracked over time to show progress and compared to other timelines, locations, and environment to show changes.
Did You Know: “52% of rework is caused by poor project data and miscommunication.”- 100+ Construction Industry Statistics by AutoDesk
Marketing & Sales Tools for Commercial Real Estate
Once all of the documentation is collected and completed from other stages of a commercial build, sales, marketing, and leasing begins to add their media and documentation to promote the building and close the deal. Here are some known and niche platforms in this category for commercial real estate:
LoopNet is a commercial real estate listing site that allows marketing, sales, and lease managers The LoopNet platform gives CRE brokers the ability to list their building with pictures and media for potential tenants and owners. The listing is only temporary and is not a depository for building as they move through the sales cycle.
Facebook (& Instagram)
Facebook and Instagram are the most recognizable social media platforms in the world, so it is not a surprise that many real estate professionals would use their public pages to promote their properties. With video, images, and text all included in one easily searchable, geo-located place, Facebook and Instagram are crowded, yet efficient ways to display commercial properties for buyers and tenants.
How Do You Make the Most of Your Tools?
The only way to get rid of the toolbox of online tools is to find one platform that allows CRE professionals to bundle, curate, and share all of their content and media. PocketBuildings is the cloud-based platform that allows all CRE professionals - from construction through sales - to access media and information about a building easily from their phone or desktop.For CRE professionals, time is money because a delay in accessing the right floor plan, video tour, or AutoCAD drawing might mean fines, lost sales, or angry clients. PocketBuildings is the only robust online platform for CRE professionals that moves at the speed of YOU - saving time and money on customer response, task completion, and sharing valuable content without sacrificing security or accessibility.
PocketBuildings. Your real estate. Anytime. Anywhere.
Sign up for a demo today to talk to a real estate technology expert or claim your free PocketBuildings account now. Find out how you (and your team) will save time and money by curating, bundling, and sharing your buildings with PocketBuildings.