Commercial Real Estate Technology Overview

January 16, 2024
11 min

Today, when technology is conquering the world and makes people’s lives easier it is impossible to believe that many commercial real estate brokers are still using Excel spreadsheets, google docs, and other unautomated resources. In fact, only 25.6% of brokers utilize technology for asset and portfolio management, and slightly more – 31.9% – for property management.

2022 DNA of CRE report by Buildout

Source: 2022 DNA of CRE report by Buildout

As a result, brokers spend most of their time editing, writing, and managing data instead of closing the deals.

Fortunately, the real estate industry has not been left behind in the technological revolution. Numerous advanced technologies and software solutions are available to streamline the work processes of landlords and tenants, making their workflow more efficient and fruitful.

In this blog post, we’ll overview real estate software and commercial real estate technologies that will simplify their workflow and soften the challenges in adopting great products.

We’ll also dive into the latest CRE technology trends to help you be a step further over the competitors and use the latest technology before it becomes mainstream.

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Benefits of Commercial Real Estate Technology for Brokers?

While some brokers tend to stick to the old-fashioned ways to contact landlords and tenants, others are effectively leveraging various CRE technologies to make their work process effective and fruitful.

Here are some statistics highlighting how CRE technology helps brokers save time:

  • According to a survey by Altus Group, 78% of brokers reported that using online marketplaces and listing platforms saves them time in finding and showcasing properties.
  • A study by Altus Group found that 71% of brokers believe that automating administrative tasks using technology saves them significant time.
  • In a survey conducted by Deloitte, 67% of real estate executives reported that advanced analytics tools save brokers time by providing quick access to market data and property insights.
  • A report by Deloitte stated that using online transaction platforms can save brokers an average of 3-5 hours per transaction by streamlining the closing process and reducing paperwork.
  • PwC’s survey found that 70% of real estate professionals believe that effective collaboration and communication tools save brokers time by enabling efficient communication with clients, colleagues, and stakeholders.
  • According to a survey by Accenture, 69% of real estate professionals reported that using CRM systems saves them time by centralizing client information and facilitating streamlined communication.

As you can see, commercial real estate tools prove very helpful in automating real estate business once you get to use them, as reported by more and more brokers worldwide.

So, what are the commercial real estate technologies and software that brokers can use?

Commercial Real Estate Technologies Brokers Use

Commercial Real Estate Technology Brokers Use

Commercial Real Estate Technology Brokers Use | Ascendix

CRM for Commercial Real Estate

The first and most vital commercial real estate software is an industry-tailored CRM. And by “industry-tailored” we mean not every single CRM on the market but only those that were specifically designed with commercial real estate workflows in mind, meaning they have functionality like commission tracking, listing management, real estate flyer generation, etc. We’ll talk about this in a bit.

Examples of CRE CRMs are:

  • AscendixRE
  • Clientlook
  • PropertyBase
  • Buildout CRM
  • Left Main REI
  • Rethink CRM.

 

 

With a CRM system tailored to CRE needs, brokers can:

  • Get a 360-degree view of every contact
  • Perform map search of Properties/Contacts/Availabilities
  • Track the lifecycle of every deal and make revenue forecasts
  • Match Contacts with relevant Deals
  • Easily navigate through massive amounts of data around contacts, companies, and properties applying custom fields and filters
  • Generate reports/flyers/brochures without leaving a system
  • Provide personalized engagement
  • Close deals and collaborate with clients within a CRM
  • Show up prepared and ready to have a very specific conversation with clients about their needs
  • Increase team’s productivity
  • And more!

Looking for a CRM laser-focused on commercial real estate?

Try AscendixRE. Schedule a free demo session today to learn more about AscendixRE CRM features.

CRE CRM is a reliable and money-worthy assistant.

According to DNA of CRE report by Buildout, 30% of respondents (N=620), plan to keep investing in CRM software because it brings valuable results in lead generation, marketing, and data management.

Other reasons that motivate brokers to keep investing in this CRE technology are:

  • Efficient organization and management of vast amounts of real estate data ability to customize the platform in the way you need to.
  • Secure storage of client information, deals, assets, tenants, partners, leases, inquiries, and commissions in a single, protected location, eliminating concerns of data leakage.
  • Automation of repetitive tasks within real estate transactions, enabling agents to focus on higher-priority responsibilities.
  • Strategic planning of follow-up activities and email campaigns with systematic cadence.
  • Tracking and managing relationships between clients, contacts, properties, and deals.

Most brokers feel they are savvy because they have a CRM… They are on the edge, they have a CRM (sarcastically). …CRM is a staple to the business. Every successful broker has a CRM.

Rod Santomassimo, Founder and President of The Massimo Group

CRE Report Generating Software

Another example of commercial real estate technology is report generating software.

Real estate agencies on tight budgets often turn to Adobe InDesign, Canva, or Microsoft Publisher for their design needs.

While these tools are useful, they may not be ideal for generating real estate reports, flyers, and brochures because they are not directly targeting real estate. In fact, those report building tools are used by any sphere.

However, there are template-based real estate flyer generation tools like Composer that offer do-it-yourself functionality at reasonable prices.

By using Composer, you can:

  • Access a library of pre-designed templates for various types of documents and marketing materials.
  • Create branded brochures, property tour books, activity reports, and any other real estate flyers in a few clicks.
  • Extract the data from a CRM and generate a report available in PDF or HTML format.
  • Eliminate the manual input of property information and images by syncing these tools with your existing systems.
  • Create marketing brochures, activity reports, and other documents quickly and without relying on external assistance.

To give you one example, here is how you can create a report in Composer:

 

In just a few clicks of a button, you can choose a desired design or build your own template if you’re feeling creative, and the system will do the rest by pulling the information you already have in your CRM. In the end, everybody is happy: you save your previous hours while your clients get the opportunity to appreciate your properties in a new, visually appealing way.

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With Composer you can quickly build your custom template and generate a professionally looking report without design firm help.

Commercial Property Listings Software

The third example of commercial real estate technology is property listing software.

Property listings serve as a channel for showcasing properties to potential buyers or tenants. Property listings are typically published in various mediums, both online and offline, to reach a wide audience and attract potential clients.

Publication on third-party platforms is possible due to the listing syndication.

CRE property listing syndication refers to the process of distributing commercial real estate (CRE) property listings to multiple online platforms, websites, and listing services.

Examples of commercial property listing software:

  • CoStar
  • LoopNet
  • 42Floors
  • Officespace
  • Reonomy
  • Catylist.

Compared to traditional marketing channels, property listing software can yield a remarkable return on investment, potentially reaching up to 112% ROI while targeting a broader audience within a shorter timeframe.

According to the 2022 DNA of CRE survey conducted by Buildout, only 15% of real estate professionals (out of 620 respondents) planned to decrease their budget and investment in listing services. In contrast, 44% indicated their intention to maintain their existing budget levels, underscoring the significance of listing services.

Property listings software allow you to create your own listings but:

  • You need to pay to post your listings there
  • The traffic from your listings will be directed not to your website, but the MLS platform.

Adding property listings functionality to your website is a whole different approach that requires another software that we’ll describe in the next passage.

Property Listing Management Solutions for Your Website

This example of commercial real estate software allows you to automate your property listings publication directly on your website and have your data stored safely in one place.

MarketSpace is one of the examples of that kind of commercial real estate property listing software. To give you a better understanding of how it might work, watch this video:

 

Using property listing management software you can easily update property information (e.g., price, leasing dates, occupancy rate, vacant spaces), add new images and descriptions and be sure that all changes will be automatically applied on the website as well.

Property listing management software also provides brokers with relevant stats and analytics. You can see who viewed your listings, what were the most viewed listings and when was the peak interest, and much more.

Based on the performance results, you can edit change the position of your listings (place the most popular to the top), send follow-ups to those who were interested in the listing, make more personalized offerings, and more.

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Property Valuation Software

Property valuation software is a computer program or application designed to help individuals or professionals estimate the market value of real estate properties.

These software tools use various data points and algorithms to analyze property-related information and provide a valuation or appraisal report.

Top 5 the most popular property evaluation software tools:

  • ARGUS Enterprise
  • HouseCanary
  • Clear Capital
  • RIO Genesis
  • PriceHubble

Property valuation software is used by various real estate professionals (appraisers, agents, brokers), property investors, financial institutions, government agencies, and individuals seeking to buy or sell properties.

It offers a more objective and data-driven approach to property valuation compared to traditional methods, and it can save time and effort in conducting property appraisals. However, it’s essential to remember that while property valuation software can be a valuable tool, human expertise and judgment remain crucial in the final determination of property values.

Property Management Software

A property management system (PMS) is a software platform designed to help property managers and landlords streamline property marketing, tenant screening, lease management, rent collection, maintenance tracking, financial reporting, and more.

Top 5 examples of popular property management software:

  • AscendixRE
  • Buildium
  • AppFolio Property Manager
  • Yardi Breeze
  • TenantCloud

When choosing a property management system, consider the specific needs of your property portfolio and the scale of your operations to find the best fit for your requirements.

Virtual Tour Software

Virtual tour software for commercial real estate is a technology tool that enables real estate professionals, property owners, and commercial brokers to create immersive and interactive virtual tours of commercial properties.

Virtual tours allow potential buyers, tenants, or investors to explore the property remotely as if they were physically present, providing a realistic and engaging experience. Virtual tours include 360-degree panoramas, interactive floor plans, and multimedia elements like images, videos, and property information.

According to stats by Digitalintheround, 54% of purchasers won’t even consider a house if it doesn’t include virtual pictures or representation.

Top 5 examples of the most popular virtual tour software for commercial real estate:

  • Matterport 3D
  • Roundme
  • Kuula
  • EyeSpy360
  • iStaging

Investment Management Software

Investment management software for commercial real estate is a specialized tool designed to assist real estate investors, asset managers, and financial professionals in making data-driven decisions, tracking property performance, and maximizing real estate ROI.

Top 5 the most popular investment management software for commercial real estate:

  • Dealpath
  • Juniper Square
  • Credify
  • RealPage Investment Management (IPM)
  • Cadre

It’s important to note that the availability and popularity of investment management software may vary based on the specific needs and preferences of real estate investors and asset managers.

When choosing investment management software, it’s essential to consider the features, scalability, and integration capabilities that align with your investment objectives and portfolio size.

Commercial Sales and Lease Comps Software

 

Lease and asset management software helps property owners, landlords, and asset managers centralize lease-related data, automate lease administration tasks, track and optimizing lease agreements. Additionally, it assists in managing the various assets associated with commercial properties, such as equipment, fixtures, and furnishings.

Top 5 most popular lease and asset management software for commercial real estate:

  • MRI Software
  • VTS
  • Coyote software
  • ProLease
  • LeaseQuery

Drone Technology

Drone usage is a growing trend in both residential and commercial real estate industry.

According to Multiple Listing Service Statistics, homes that are displayed with an aerial shot made by drones are 68% more likely to sell. Additionally, commercial real estate drone services are quite inexpensive in comparison with the value it adds.

However, it’s important to note that drone usage is subject to local regulations and restrictions. To overcome them, you need to:

  • familiarize yourself with the specific regulations in the area to perform drone operation
  • obtain a Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) Remote Pilot Certificate yourself for commercial use or hire a professional drone pilot/photographer.

As you can see, CRE technology provides time-saving benefits to brokers by automating administrative tasks, simplifying property search and listing processes, facilitating efficient communication, and providing quick access to data and insights.

By leveraging these technologies, brokers can allocate more time to strategic activities such as building relationships, negotiating deals, and providing personalized services to clients.

What CRE Tech Trends Brokers Should Follow?

The list of must-have commercial real estate technologies is formed based on the current trends in CRE tech field. Let’s have a look at the latest trends brokers should follow:

  • AI-based tools

AI technologies have been conquering the commercial real estate market step-by-step. The list of AI tools for brokers includes AI-driven property analytics, predictive modeling for investment decisions, automated property valuation, AI-powered chatbots for customer support, text-generative tools like ChatGPT.

  • Internet of Things (IoT)

The integration of IoT devices and sensors in commercial buildings can provide valuable data on energy usage, security, maintenance, and occupancy. IoT applications may include smart building management systems, energy optimization, and enhanced tenant experiences.

  • Data analytics and visualization

Advanced commercial real estate data analytics tools will continue to be essential for analyzing large datasets, extracting insights, and making data-driven decisions. Visualization technologies such as interactive dashboards and augmented reality (AR) can further enhance data interpretation and presentation.

  • Sustainability and Green Tech standards

As sustainability becomes a key focus in both CRE and real estate industries, technology will play a vital role in achieving energy efficiency and reducing environmental impact. This includes innovations in smart energy management, renewable energy integration, green building certifications, and sustainable materials.

  • Collaborative platforms and marketplaces

Collaborative platforms like MarketSpace will continue facilitating networking and deal-making in the commercial real estate industry. These platforms enable efficient property listings, investment opportunities, tenant sourcing, and service provider connections.

It’s important to note that these trends are speculative and based on current industry developments. The commercial real estate tech landscape is dynamic, and new trends may emerge as technology evolves.

Conclusion

Commercial real estate technology continues to revolutionize the industry, bringing forth unprecedented opportunities. Adopting innovative software and platforms has become imperative for industry players seeking to stay competitive and enhance their operations.

Throughout this article, we explored various real estate software and technological trends shaping the commercial real estate landscape. From AI-driven analytics to following GreenTech standards, these advancements offer immense potential for streamlining processes, making data-driven decisions, and delivering exceptional client experiences.

Those brokers and agents who proactively embrace and invest in commercial real estate technology will position themselves at the forefront of progress, unlocking untapped potential and reaping the rewards of a tech-driven era in this dynamic and thriving industry.

Need help with commercial real estate technology? Ascendix team is a CRE technology consulting partner you can trust a project of any complexity. Learn what we did for JLL, Transwestern, Colliers International, and many others. Contact us to see how we can help you.

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