How to Build the Perfect Commercial Real Estate Technology Stack
The technology stack. That’s a term we hear a lot these days. It may sound a little geeky, but it’s actually pretty simple. A tech stack is a group of multiple technology applications that today’s businesses use to manage their core functions. Decades ago, it was an actual stack of hardware in the IT department. Now, like most technology, it’s virtual and resides in the cloud.
A well-integrated technology stack helps streamline routine management tasks and also greatly increases the ability to use information to improve planning. A ‘technology stack’ is essentially the group of technology applications that a business uses to manage their core functions. With the universal growth of platforms powering marketing and business functions, the importance of a technology stack is being recognized in all businesses, old and new, small and large.
Now that owners, managers, lenders and brokers in commercial real estate are adopting platforms and applications that facilitate leasing, accounting, project tracking and reporting, building management, budgeting and valuation, marketing, contract management, and legal, the commercial real estate technology stack is taking shape. Real estate professionals are using a variety of tools to increase efficiency and accuracy, focus on value-add opportunities and make confident decisions.
The enterprise lease management/accounting platform serves as the core of a well-assembled commercial real estate tech stack. Today’s most cutting-edge products allow other components of the stack to integrate this core, sharing data in real time, to facilitate every aspect of leasing and asset management.
As you’re assembling a real estate technology stack for your organization, take a look at these best-in-class technology platforms.
IBS’s Imperium Powered by Acumatica was specifically built to serve as the core of the real estate tech stack. It serves as a single source for capturing and processing real estate enterprise data. It offers a full financial management and reporting suite – including deep functionality in the areas of escalations and recoveries – with robust lease abstracting, and utility and tenant service billing features for multi-family, commercial, and other specialized markets. Elegantly integrated solutions for electronic rent payments, payment processing, and resident screening make managing day-to-day tasks automatic and convenient, often resulting in significant cost savings over conventional approaches. It provides all of this, along with unparalleled integration capabilities (if we do say so ourselves). And because Imperium is a cloud solution it addresses the requirements of an increasingly collaborative and mobile business world.
VTS is a leasing platform used by more than 5,000 owners and brokers. The platform provides a space for managing deals and properties, offering real-time access to a range of listing, leasing and tenant information as well as analysis of the data that helps identify trends. It integrates with accounting systems and saves time that can be lost on redundant tasks.
RDM’s RealAccess stores leases, floor plans, tenant and suite information, all of which are available in real time from mobile devices and desktops. The program’s dashboard enables users to look at the “big picture.” This, in turn, enables them to make more knowledgeable and savvy decisions. RealAccess captures high-level data in a single shot. Viewers see impending lease expirations and growth potential, along with historical comparisons.
Customer Resource Management
The Apto CRM platform manages contacts, properties, listings, deals and back-office in the cloud, with information accessible from any device at any time. An award-winning deal management platform, Apto helps landlord and tenant reps, and investment sales specialists win business and close deals.
ClientLook combines contact management, project collaboration and corporate social networking in a single, integrated solution. A leading cloud-based CRM system, it features a clean, intuitive design. ClientLook promotes enhanced sales success, relationship building and team communication.
REthink CRE and REthink RES are built on Salesforce, a leading CRM platform. REthink CRE is a cloud-based deal management platform tailored for commercial brokerage firms. REthink RES is designed for residential real estate teams, with the goal to foster collaboration and assist agents and brokerage teams in serving clients more effectively.
CommissionTrac is designed specifically to track and manage the complexities of commercial real estate commissions. By automating this traditionally manual – and tedious – task of the leasing business it helps agents get paid on time; supports back-office professionals as they capture and report on commission-related items; and provides peace of mind for company leaders by reducing risk and improving efficiencies.
Project management and procurement
Honest Buildings is the leading integrated, data-driven project management and procurement platform built for commercial real estate owners and managers. Companies use Honest Buildings to centralize project data, increase transparency, automate bid management and standardize reporting. Honest Buildings designed the platform to be easy to use and to integrate with other CRE technology platforms.
Building Engines, a comprehensive web-based operations management solution for owners and managers of all property types, connects the people and processes involved in running individual buildings and entire portfolios. The product empowers property management professionals to capture actionable data in day-to-day activities, automate workflow and facilitate communication among individual team members, vendors and tenants.
Budgeting and valuation
ARGUS Enterprise is a single, scalable platform that brings together ARGUS Valuation DCF, ARGUS Valuation Capitalisation and ARGUS Asset Management – three leading valuation and asset management solutions. Combining asset and portfolio valuations, budgeting and investment structure forecasting, flexible reporting, and sensitivity/scenario building for structured stress testing, this comprehensive software helps organizations maximize performance and profitability.
Floored, recently acquired by CBRE Group, Inc., provides innovative and versatile marketing tools for all types of commercial real estate properties. The product produces excellent materials for marketing, usable on any device or operating system, including 3D models and video fly-throughs. These can even be converted for use with the Oculus Rift headset for ultra-access to the property. The platform features several tools for space planning that will give potential tenants all the information they need.
DocuSign, with more than 100 million global users and 200 million transactions annually, has transformed the way businesses send, sign and manage agreements and collect payments. Businesses today need to stay abreast of technological advances; becoming 100 percent digital and mobile is vital for running an efficient and cost-savings operation. DocuSign enables users to complete online business transactions quickly and securely on any mobile device.
SiteCompli navigates the rocky terrain of site compliance, regulations and ordinances. It provides site-specific data and round-the-clock monitoring to keep owners and managers abreast of changes and possible violations before they become problems.
These are just a few of the solutions that can be used in the multi-cloud world to build the perfect CRE technology stack. The possibilities are endless, and we are excited to be involved in the CRE Tech 3.0 revolution.