Digital transformation doesn’t just apply to the technology sector. And who doesn’t appreciate technology that increases efficiency and productivity! With the prevalence of mobile devices like smart phones and tablets, there’s no shortage of apps, including a few that — when used strategically — can help to fuel the success of CRE brokers.
Commercial real estate apps currently available for download generally fall into four categories: listing, due diligence, CRM, and administrative. Let’s take a look at each type.
As the name implies, these apps help brokers and investors keep tabs on what’s new on the market. MLS systems don’t always play nicely with mobile devices, but their capabilities — and UX — continue to improve through development.
Due Diligence Apps
These apps offer many options to real estate professionals. Some allow users to take 3D tours of available properties. Others offer various floorplans — and the ability to redesign and visualize potential floorplans. Still other apps help property managers research and vet tenant prospects and manage leasing operations.
Customer relationship management (CRM) systems are invaluable tools for tracking, managing, and organizing transactions. True workhorses, CRM apps also help manage prospect communication and interactions, automate data entry, and create sales reports.
Need to capture signatures electronically or keep all your appointments in one place? There’s an app for that! While not specific to real estate agents, administrative apps are like little office managers that live in our mobile devices, helping to keep schedules straight, sending reminders, assisting with time management, and so much more.
Top CRE Apps
Commercial real estate is — by its very nature — not an office job. You’re constantly on the move and dragging along a laptop doesn’t always make much logistical sense. While the app stores have many options right now, the following list includes some of the most popular CRE apps.
This free platform allows CRE brokers to access recent lease comps, sales comps, and property information. The app enables you to research specific property details, generate market analyses, negotiate deals, determine accurate valuation, and most importantly, prospect more efficiently.
An extension of CoStar Professional services, this app provides comprehensive, updated commercial real estate property information and analytics that allow you to monitor rates, absorption, and vacancies. You can compare lease options and connect with other CRE professionals, too.
Investors use this RE analysis app for researching recent comps and computing costs of potential offers. When you enter transaction information — closing and financing costs, purchase price, renovations, and other expenses — the app offers detailed projections and financial analyses.
This “magical” app allows you to upload documents for signatures, email and share paperwork, complete contracts, financial agreements, approvals, NDAs and other CRE documents — all electronically. The app streamlines processes, increases efficiency, and saves time.
Better than a dictation machine, this app captures your ideas and notes and allows you to search and use tags, clip web pages, and apply rich formatting. You’re also able to add images, audio, scans, PDFs, text, and docs. If you download the free version, you can synch up to two devices.
Since its 2012 merger with CoStar Group, this subscription-based app endures as a reliable information source for CRE listings. It offers a good starting place for brokers advertising new listings — and its premier package includes top ad placement, a professional photoshoot, drone videography, and flyer creation tools.
Recently acquired by VTS and geared specifically toward retail spaces, this app offers marketing automation capabilities. Users can upload listing photos, floorplans, property data, and other documents to one platform and — once everything’s uploaded — create a range of marketing collateral including email blasts and flyers.
Since dragging a printer/scanner along in the car hardly speaks of practicality, use this app instead. A “child” of Evernote, this app uses your phone’s camera to capture an image of your document. Use this app to store business cards, too, or file expense reports or send documents to clients and colleagues.
This digital lease portfolio offers clou-based storage, financial reporting, and tracking functions. You can manage critical dates and monitor obligations in your portfolio, automate workflows, and gain insight across systems. It’ll help you manage your schedule and deadlines, too, with email reminders.
Small to midsize companies can use this property management and accounting app. Although it has a somewhat steep learning curve, its features allow users to manage recordkeeping, process invoices, post rents, and send communications. It also allows managers to easily switch between communities and includes diverse custom reporting with editable fields. Users have rated the company’s support team as top notch.
While doing things the “old fashioned way” may bring comfort to some, technology has certainly made it easier for the CRE industry to go mobile. And brokers who leverage even a little more tech into their businesses benefit from higher efficiency, better organization and, thus, more success winning listings and closing deals.
And if you want to connect to others in the CRE field, share insights and tips or grow your network, consider connecting with the CRE professionals at CREA United. Our team uses a natural, collaborative approach to business development.